The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has announced that 60 locations in England will offer £500 discounts for heating engineers to train as heat pump installers.
A new government competition has also opened for training providers to bid for the discounts to train 4,000 new heat network installers.
The scheme is part of the government’s £5 million Heat Training Grant, which aims to expand the renewable industry workforce required to achieve government Net Zero targets.
Recently, WWF UK and ScottishPower called for a ‘significant step up’ in the UK Government’s plans to accelerate the development of energy efficient homes, as concerns have been raised that the government will fail to meet its heat pump rollout target of 600,000 a year by 2028.
The 60 approved training centres across England hope to provide more than 6,000 heating engineers with the skills needed to qualify as a heat pump engineer, backed by the £500 discount.
The scheme launches today (4 July 2023) and offers to cover most of the cost for an engineer to train to install heat pumps – usually around £600.
The government has also announced the Heat Training Grant Competition for heat networks, which allows training providers to bid for £500 discounts to train up to 4,000 heat network professionals.
Lastly, DESNZ also launched the Heat Pump Investment Accelerator Competition, offering £30 million to build or expand existing factories to scale up heat pump production.
“The aim of the competition is to have up to 270,000 heat pumps or components built every year in the UK from 2028, with up to 3,000 jobs created, and generate up to £270 million of private sector investment into the domestic heat pump supply chain,” DESNZ said.
Lord Callanan, Minister for energy efficiency and green finance, said: “Heat pumps and heat networks are critical technologies for decarbonising heat – and play an important role in the country’s push towards net zero.”
“With consumer demand set to surge in the coming years, we have committed to helping industry manufacture our own heat pumps and we will need thousands more expert installers ready for action.”
DESNZ say that “heating manufacturers including Baxi, Ideal Heating, NIBE, Vaillant, and Worcester Bosch are expected to offer additional discounts and offers to participating trainees. These benefits could be worth up to a further £500 in product vouchers, additional training and other support, helping trainees put their new skills into practice.”
The government is encouraging training providers across England to offer heat pump installation courses and apply through the newly launched Heat Training Grant Competition before 8 August 2023.
Charlotte Lee, chief executive of the Heat Pump Association, said: “We welcome the launch of the Heat Training Grant and are pleased to see training providers across the country, including HPA members, being included in the first funding round.
We encourage heating engineers to make use of the Heat Training Grant to undertake subsidised training and expand their skill set and future proof their business in readiness for the exponential growth required to meet the government’s target of installing 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028.”
Midlands Net Zero Hub will administrator of the Heat Grant Training scheme, on behalf of The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme to subsidise heat pump uptake awarded £70 million in its first year, the government said.
However, the heat pump sector remains without a dedicated apprenticeship for those looking to train solely as a heat pump installer, though one is currently being prepared to welcome its first cohort of students later in 2023.