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National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies gets go-ahead

Author : J GALE

08 February 2011

A new nationwide network of accredited training provision for low carbon and renewable skills has been given the go-ahead by Government.

The National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies will provide training in the design, installation and maintenance of technologies such as solar thermal, photovoltaics, heat pumps and water harvesting and recycling. It is being supported by employers across the building services engineering sector.

Over 80 colleges and other training providers across England have been accredited under the National Skills Academy banner. Together they will deliver a range of environmental technology courses that have been approved by SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering.  Additional technologies such as biofuels and micro-CHP will be available in the near future.

“The National Skills Academy marks a new way forward for environmental technologies training,” said Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive of SummitSkills. “At present, training provision in this area is patchy across the country, and is not recognised as meeting the industry-recognised competence level. With the network structure of the Skills Academy, employers can now be confident that they can gain accredited renewables skills in a location closer to their business.”

The Skills Academy will consist of an initial 14 leading ‘hub’ colleges across the country working in partnership with other training providers to offer the environmental qualifications to upskill existing workers in the BSE sector. Training will also take place for new entrants to the sector as part of their apprenticeship. The first phase of accredited Skills Academy hubs have been confirmed as:

·         Bedford College (East of England)

·         Blackburn College (North West)

·         Bradford College (Yorkshire & Humber)

·         College of North West London (London)

·         Cornwall College (South West)

·         Dudley College (West Midlands)

·         Hartlepool College (North East)

·         Leeds College of Building (Yorkshire & Humber)

·         Liverpool Community College (North West)

·         Stephenson College (East Midlands)

·         Stourbridge College (West Midlands)

·         The Genesis Project (Somerset College) (South West)

·         Trafford College (North West)

·         Weston College (South West)

Skills Minister John Hayes said: “The Prime Minister has set an ambition for this to be the greenest government ever. To achieve this, government, employers and training providers must work together to deliver the skills that will enable our economy to achieve truly sustainable growth.

“By giving the industries that design, install and maintain green solutions for homes and buildings access to world class training, the Skills Academy will help ensure that the UK not only meets its emissions targets but leads the world in innovation.”

Preparation work is now underway to deliver the training courses and in many regions training is currently available. Details of the hub colleges can be found at  

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