Redcar and Cleveland College is playing its part in upskilling a workforce to help tackle the UK’s 27m “leaky homes”, and in doing so challenge the climate and fuel crises.

The college has been announced as the Tees Valley’s official Retrofit Academy CIC Hub training partner – a move which will see retrofit courses rolled out that both upskill those already working in the trades and offer retraining opportunities for the unemployed. 

It could also go some way towards helping meet the government’s 2050 Net Zero targets.

“Retrofit is the process of upgrading our existing homes to help make them more energy efficient,” explained the college’s principal, Jason Faulkner.

“But with energy leaking from residential properties said to be accounting for up to 28% of the UK’s carbon emissions every year, there is a big job to be done when it comes to upgrading our homes.”

Retrofitting existing residential properties is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint, as heat leaks through windows, doors and uninsulated walls, particularly in older properties.

The Retrofit Academy CIC is a not-for-profit organisation that is working with local authorities and colleges across the UK to create partnerships that will help meet their mission of training and developing 200,000 retrofitters by 2030.

As the Tees Valley’s only Retrofit Academy-accredited training provider, Jason said: “This is the natural next step in Redcar and Cleveland College’s ongoing drive to deliver the skills for green careers.  We are looking forward to bringing these opportunities to adult learners across the Tees Valley.”

The courses will help retrain and upskill potential retrofit co-ordinators and assessors, enabling them to identify areas for improvement in a home such as the need for insulation, solar panels and air source heat pumps.

Jason added: “The college has the added benefit, through its Clean Energy Education Hub, due for completion in the spring, to have the capacity to train the installers of these commodities.

“We already have approved government funded training boot camps for air source heat pump installation and solar PV installation for roofers.”

According to The Retrofit Academy CIC the current workforce will need to upskill a further 400,000 news entrants to join the retrofit sector to hit the government’s Net Zero target.

The Retrofit Academy CIC’s chief executive officer, David Pierpoint, said: “Redcar and Cleveland College is a very welcome addition to our family of training hubs across the UK. They are forward-thinking and passionate about upskilling people for green jobs. They also share our commitment to providing high-quality educational provision in the vital area of housing retrofit.”

The partnership is supported by a link with procurement framework, Efficiency North, who are reaching out to the region’s social landlords and tenants to help identify those who will benefit most from the training.

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