Heating engineers can now get £500 towards training to become qualified heat pump installers through the government’s £5 million Heat Training Grant.
As part of building a skilled workforce to scale up heat pump installations and support the Prime Minister’s priority and grow the economy, over 60 approved training centres across England will provide more than 6,000 heating engineers with the skills needed to qualify as a heat pump engineer. This will be backed by a generous discount to make it even easier for people to train.
Opening today, the scheme will provide £500 off the cost of training per person, which usually costs around £600 to complete – meaning the vast majority will be covered by the government.
All applicants have to do is sign up for the training through their chosen provider and confirm they are eligible for the grant. Thousands of trainees will receive the practical training needed to join a professional installer certification scheme, with all training rigorously assessed and designed to meet the highest standards needed for professional certification.
Meanwhile, the Heat Training Grant Competition for heat networks has also opened today for training providers to bid for £500 discounts to train up to 4,000 new heat network professionals.
Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “Heat pumps and heat networks are critical technologies for decarbonising heat – and play an important role in the country’s push towards net zero.
“With consumer demand set to surge in the coming years, we have committed to helping industry manufacture our own heat pumps and we will need thousands more expert installers ready for action.
“This grant will not only give the rollout of heat pumps and heat networks a huge boost but will help to develop a skilled workforce who will reap the rewards of joining a thriving installer market.”
In addition to the grant, heating manufacturers including Baxi, Ideal Heating, NIBE, Vaillant, 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 government is also calling on training providers across England to help nurture and grow a fresh brigade of heat network engineers by offering courses to upskill and teach them how to install and maintain them.
Interested providers are encouraged to apply through the newly launched Heat Training Grant Competition on GOV.UK before the 8 August 2023 so the help is available in more parts of the country.
With the number of heat networks in England steadily growing and expected to increase, thousands more engineers, installers and operators will be needed to learn to install and maintain heat networks. Trainees can expect to learn everything from heat network feasibility and design, to construction, operation and maintenance.
Charlotte Lee, CEO of the Heat Pump Association, said: “We welcome the launch of the Heat Training Grant and are pleased to see training providers across the country, including HPA members, being included in the first funding round. Creating a large, highly skilled heat pump installer base is essential for expanding heat pump rollout in the UK and is a priority for the Association and its members.
“Heat pumps are a key aspect of decarbonising home heating and are central to achieving the government’s net zero targets. We encourage heating engineers to make use of the Heat Training Grant to undertake subsidised training and expand their skill set and future proof their business in readiness for the exponential growth required to meet the government’s target of installing 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028.
“Manufacturers have also welcomed the opening of the Heat Pump Investment Accelerator Competition to applications. This funding will help build our capability and capacity for manufacturing heat pumps and key components across the UK, creating new jobs and ensuring we remain at the cutting edge of manufacturing innovation.”
Also launching today is the Heat Pump Investment Accelerator Competition, offering £30 million to build new factories or expand existing ones and to also retool and rework factories to manufacture heat pumps and heat pump components – as plans to scale up their deployment accelerate.
The competition is available across the UK and projects can bid for a maximum of £15 million – €15 million in Northern Ireland – of funding per scheme.
The aim of the competition is to have up to 270,000 heat pumps or components built every year in the UK from 2028, with up to 3,000 jobs created, and generate up to £270 million of private sector investment into the domestic heat pump supply chain.
Mark Wilkins, Technology & Training Director at Vaillant, said: “We welcome the Heat Training Grant and are delighted to be supporting this important initiative with offers for additional training or support. One of the biggest barriers to a rapidly growing heat pump market is the availability of large numbers of skilled installers and this funding initiative is a key element to help the UK achieve our decarbonisation targets”.
Heat pumps are highly efficient and reliable and are key to cutting carbon emissions using cheaper renewable energy produced here in the UK. The government has pledged to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028, a tenfold increase from 2021.
Installing a heat pump is more affordable than ever before thanks to grants of up to £6,000 through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which has been extended until 2028, and a zero rate on VAT. Prices have fallen with low cost offers from energy suppliers alongside the government grant, enabling consumers to purchase a heat pump at a comparable price to a gas boiler.
Phil Hurley, Managing Director of NIBE Energy Systems, said: “We are delighted to be an approved training provider eligible for the Heat Training Grant. Installers will be at the heart of our transition to low carbon heating, and we are excited to be at the forefront of delivering best in class heat pump training to our NIBE Pro members. By offering our simplified, fully supported training support scheme at an even lower cost, we can contribute to creating a highly skilled workforce fit for the future.”
Eligible heating engineers can find out further information about the Heat Training Grant on GOV.UK which sets out comprehensive information on where they can apply for the grant and lists the approved training centres and courses.
Training will usually take at least three days to complete, although it may be longer depending on the trainee’s previous skills and experience. Organisations can apply for funding to upgrade their manufacturing plants by visiting GOV.UK. The competition will be open for applications until 4 October 2023.