Thousands of people with the right skills will be required to respond to the new market opportunities that will be created by the Government’s ‘Green Deal’. With homeowners and businesses able to apply for loans to reduce energy waste in their homes from next year, the scheme is set to heighten already growing demand for contractors with the skills and knowledge to cut carbon. There are already opportunities for work such as improving insulation, installing efficient energy sources and refurbishing to green standards, but is the industry ready to respond?
A good number of SMEs have already up-skilled and are winning work as a result, but recent research commissioned by CITB-ConstructionSkills highlights that three in ten builders still have a ‘poor understanding’ of the Low Carbon agenda. There are also continuing concerns over the proper accreditation of builders to ensure the public is protected.
To help small and medium sized (SME) contractors make the most of the opportunities created, the Cut the Carbon campaign has been launched by CITB-ConstructionSkills, the National Specialist Contractors Council and the Federation of Master Builders. It’s focus is on acquiring the right skills and knowledge to maximise the opportunities presented by a low carbon future. It builds on the work of bodies such as the Energy Saving Trust, CIRIA and BRE, and highlights the support available to SMEs in particular.
There are a number of ways that SME businesses can ensure they have the knowledge and skills to deliver to their clients’ low carbon requirements, and the Cut the Carbon campaign has been developed to lead the way.
The Cut the Carbon web pages at www.cskills.org/cutcarbon provide a wealth of information for those looking to upskill and understand how to make the most of the opportunities that the low carbon agenda offers. Here, contractors can:
- Check a timetable of new legislation related to cutting carbon in the built environment;
- Learn about government and industry initiatives that are creating opportunities for low carbon work;
- Understand more about practical ways to reduce carbon on a project; and
- Find out about training and qualifications that will help SME contractors to win low carbon work.
In addition, CITB-ConstructionSkills is highlighting to Government the key skills areas that need to be addressed as part of the Green Deal if the Government is to achieve its aims. These include ensuring awareness amongst SMEs of the market potential; the need for Government investment in training for existing workers; creating codes of practice that will underpin the ‘Green Deal’ to ensure advisers, providers and installers operate effectively; and ensuring the accreditation of advisers, providers and installers is linked to standards and qualification.
SME contractors can win work through the drive to cut carbon, as long as they are able to demonstrate the skills to deliver what their clients want. The Cut the Carbon campaign points to practical ways that businesses can prepare and ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need. Those that do not take action are already missing out.
For more information on the Cut the Carbon campaign, visit www.cskills.org/cutcarbon.