Mark Farrar smallerCITB-ConstructionSkills has responded to the Government’s Carbon Plan by calling on the construction industry to upskill for future low carbon work. The Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for construction has urged small and medium sized (SME) contractors in particular to proactively seek out the opportunities for work that are being generated by the drive for a low carbon economy.

Last week’s Carbon Plan announcement from the Department for Energy and Climate Change stated that the UK has slashed its carbon output by a quarter since 1990, but that the carbon cuts of the past two decades were much easier to achieve than those needed in the next 20 years.

CITB-ConstructionSkills Chief Executive Mark Farrar comments: “The built environment accounts for almost half of the country’s carbon emissions, and the efforts and expertise of the construction industry have played a central role in the success of the UK’s drive to cut carbon.  But as the report highlights, the journey ahead will be more difficult than the one behind us.  It will be critical that the construction industry has the specialist training and skills required to continue improving its low carbon offer.”

He continues: “Construction firms of all sizes must upskill now, improving and updating their knowledge, skills and qualifications, and proactively seeking out low carbon building opportunities.   Without doing so, businesses will miss out on valuable opportunities to win low carbon work generated through schemes such as the Green Deal as well as risking non-compliance with Government regulations. In addition, by failing to upskill, the construction industry as a whole will not be able to play its crucial part in transforming the UK into a low carbon economy. The time to prepare for the future is now.”

A number of the specific challenges that construction businesses will face when the Green Deal is launched in Autumn 2012 were identified in a report published by the Green Deal Skills Alliance (made up of CITB-ConstructionSkills, SummitSkills and AssetSkills) last month. The new report carried out by BRE – Delivering Low Carbon Skills in Wales: Retrofit Learning – has given industry this information for the first time.

The results of the research include the findings that management and customer service skills are critical to making a retrofit run smoothly; and there is demand for contractors with cross disciplinary skills for energy efficiency. The report also highlighted that homeowners want to have greater knowledge on how to maintain their retrofitted houses.  The full report can be viewed at

Industry can use the Cut the Carbon portal for information and guidance on how to upskill and win low carbon work.  The Cut the Carbon campaign was launched in October 2010 by a partnership between CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC) to help small and medium sized business (SMEs) prepare for the construction industry’s low carbon future through skills and knowledge.  The Cut the Carbon portal – – offers information on the Green Deal as well as guidance and advice on winning low carbon work, details of training and qualifications, case studies and the latest information on policy and legislative changes.

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