Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is to launch at the end of this month (30 September) its Low Carbon Learning programme, designed to equip construction workers with the skills to retrofit buildings for a low-carbon future.
The £450,000 programme will upskill and reskill more than 700 construction workers who are either out of work or facing redundancy to deliver low energy buildings. It will feature experts from the Passivhaus Trust, Renfrewshire Council, John Gilbert Architects, and CSIC.
Low Carbon Learning is supported by the Scottish government and Scottish Funding Council through the National Transition Training Fund and builds on the Passivhaus in Practice initiative, delivered by CSIC earlier in 2021. The programme will run from now until the end of July 2022.
Face-to-face training on Passivhaus standards will be delivered to 200 people at CSIC’s Innovation Factory near Hamilton, with 100 of them going on to become certified practitioners.
Morrison Construction is also providing a £75,000 steel rig to support the Passivhaus standard training, helping participants to explore different construction systems.
Another 500 participants will have the opportunity to train online with retrofit and the EnerPHit standard, the global benchmark for retrofitting existing properties to Passivhaus guidelines. 200 will be trained in-person and can gain limited accreditation.
Caitriona Jordan, future skills manager at CSIC, said: “Skills will be an absolutely critical part of helping the construction sector – and the UK and Scottish economies more generally – move towards a net zero future. Our Passivhaus in Practice programme was highly successful in helping construction workers develop their knowledge and expertise of the gold standard for energy efficient homes, and this second phase will build on that by bringing in more people and providing the opportunity for participants to learn about EnerPHit as well.
“More people in the sector with knowledge of, and the skills necessary to deliver these types of buildings will help energy efficiency become more mainstream. It will also help ensure we have a workforce fit for the future and could help create new jobs in the construction supply chain, while addressing societal issues such as fuel poverty.”
David Pierpoint, chief executive of The Retrofit Academy, added: “Low Carbon Learning is a great step in providing much-needed low carbon retrofit skills in the construction sector. The built environment is responsible for a significant amount of the UK and Scotland’s carbon emissions, with the vast majority of the buildings that will exist in the decades to come already built.
“There is a huge opportunity to train our existing workforce with new skills, and bring much-needed new talent into the sector, which will help contribute to the challenge of decarbonising our existing stock and address skills gaps.”