The Home Decarbonisation Skills Training Competition (HDSTC) has been launched this week by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Through the competition, £9.2m of grant funding will be available for training providers across England to run courses to upskill the domestic retrofit workforce.

The competition is being facilitated by the Midlands Net Zero Hub, which is governed by Nottingham City Council. Registered training providers can bid for up to £1m of grant funding through the competition and 8,900 courses are set to be delivered across three areas: retrofit assessment and accreditation, insulation and heat pumps.

Improving energy efficiency of homes remains the best approach to reducing fuel poverty in the long-term, and these courses are aimed at addressing shortages that exist within the retrofit supply chain. Retrofitting domestic properties through these measures contributes to warmer homes, reducing both energy bills and carbon emissions.

Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment and Waste Services, said: “I’m delighted that we are supporting the net zero agenda nationally thanks to the Midlands Net Zero Hub. Heating and powering domestic properties accounts for approximately 40% of energy demand and 30% of carbon emissions, so ensuring the domestic retrofit workforce can be delivered at scale is a vital part of achieving net zero by 2050.  

“The Home Decarbonisation Skills Training Competition gives an opportunity for training providers to offer courses which will help plug the skills gaps in the current retrofit supply chain and join the growing green jobs sector. These opportunities will have a real impact on improving people’s lives by lifting many out of fuel poverty, while also helping us to decarbonise homes.”

Wayne Bexton, Director of Carbon Reduction, Energy and Sustainability at Nottingham City Council, said: “This competition is a direct boost for the low carbon economy, ensuring skills are being developed to match the pace of retrofit being delivered. I believe the Midlands and Nottingham can lead the green jobs revolution that will support the improvements to properties we need to achieve in order to fulfil our net zero ambitions.”

Michael Gallagher, Head of the Midlands Net Zero Hub, said: “We’re pleased to be involved in delivering the second Skills Training Competition on behalf of BEIS, following the success of the Green Homes Grant Skills Training Competition. Through our delivery of domestic retrofit schemes in the Midlands, we can see how vital the upskilling of the workforce is to ensure that energy efficiency improvements and low carbon technologies installed are compliant and deliver real benefits to those who are living in homes that may be hard to heat and power.”

The Home Decarbonisation Skills Training Competition is open for applications between 12th September until 10th October 2022. Interested providers can read the full Competition Guidance and download the application form on the UK Government’s website.