The government to fund the training of 1,000 apprentices in the insulation sector as part of its “green deal” energy plan.
Energy secretary Chris Huhne said a “big injection” of skills and cash was needed if his ambitious energy efficiency targets were to be realised.
Under the plan, the government will cover the cost of training 16- to 18-year-old apprentices and will share the cost for over 19-year-olds with businesses, which may include B&Q and British Gas.
Huhne said the apprentice scheme was evidence of how government and business could work together to create jobs and speed up the transition to a more sustainable economy.
The Green Deal programme will see homeowners get their properties insulated at no upfront cost, reimbursing firms carrying out the work from the savings they make on their energy bills.
Huhne said he hoped the programme would sustain 100,000 jobs within five years and that a “step-change” was needed to make energy-saving technology more widely available.
“To succeed, we will need a big injection of skills and investment,” he said. “These apprenticeships are a perfect example of how government and business can work together to a low-carbon future.”
The construction industry is still awaiting full details of the RHI- the Renewable Heat Incentive – which will, it is hoped, kickstart a transformation in the way UK homes are heated.