02 March 2023
The Heat Pump Association (HPA) has welcomed plans for a £5million Heat Training Grant aimed at supporting 10,000 low carbon heating installers over the next two years.
The government says grants of up to £500 will cover most of the costs of a level 3 heat pump training course. In addition, manufacturers including Baxi, NIBE, Panasonic, Vaillant, Ideal Heating and Worcester-Bosch are expected to offer additional discounts and offers to participating trainees. These benefits could be worth up to a further £500 in product vouchers, additional training and other support, helping trainees put their new skills into practice.
The HPA set out in its Pathway to Heat Pumps report that the first pillar of transforming Britain’s heating industry would be to create a highly skilled installer workforce. The report recommended more intervention from Government to support adopters of low carbon heating technology through compensation for training and loss of earnings whilst undertaking this. The 2020 Building the Installer Base for Net Zero report called for the Government to introduce a voucher scheme and we have been working with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero on the development of this scheme since.
Phil Hurley, chair of the HPA, said: “Installers are the most important ambassadors of heat pumps to the consumer, and the HPA warmly welcomes this scheme to support them build on their existing skill base to become the green heating installers of the future. This is exactly the sort of early-bird support we have called for.
"We already have the building blocks in place - our own training course and capacity among our members to train 40,000 installers per year. This government scheme will give the industry a real boost in helping installers upskill for heat pumps to take over from gas boilers as the go-to heating technology for new and replacement systems alike in the majority of homes.”
Baxi has pledged to match the £500 grant with £500 worth of Baxi Works loyalty points for installers who use the voucher to train and achieve Baxi’s BPEC accredited qualification.
Upon completion of the course and registration of the installer’s first air source heat pump, points can be redeemed against a range of rewards including gadgets, vouchers, tools and workwear.
“This is a great scheme and we welcome the Government’s focus on skills, and its commitment to the installer community who are keen to participate in the transition to decarbonised heating in buildings,” said Jeff House, external affairs & policy director at Baxi.
“The conversation on heat pumps has to move beyond purely product and must recognise the necessary industry change needed around specification, installation and maintenance – all of which will be addressed by the training programmes provided by us and others under the scheme. This is absolutely critical to gaining consumer confidence around new technology,”