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Nine of Scotland’s colleges to launch specialist renewable & energy efficiency training centres


With a surge in demand for renewable energy, the Energy Skills Partnership (ESP) has revealed plans to establish nine Renewable & Energy Efficiency Training Centres in colleges across central and southern Scotland following a £500,000 funding boost from our Green Economy Fund.

ESP is a collaboration of Scotland’s colleges and industry partners established to increase Scotland’s capability and capacity to deliver the right skills for the energy, engineering and construction sectors to meet industry demand.

ESP will enhance and establish the training centres in nine colleges including: Ayrshire, Borders, Edinburgh, Fife, Forth Valley, Glasgow Kelvin, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and West College Scotland who have been working together as members of the Energy Efficiency Training Network.

The project has supported significant capital investment in renewable and energy efficiency training equipment, staff training and continuing professional development in current and emerging technologies, as well as supporting overall curriculum development.

The development of this project has cemented key industry partnerships for the colleges, positioning them at the forefront of training for the future renewables and energy efficiency workforce in Scotland.

John Renwick, Sector Manager at ESP was joined by Forth Valley College Care, Sport and Construction Curriculum Managers Jeanette McCulloch and Steven Adams at the college’s new Falkirk Campus to welcome an exciting delivery of solar, thermal and photovoltaic equipment, as well as air and ground source heat pumps.

This specialist kit of renewable equipment will enable Forth Valley College to set up an innovative renewables workshop to deliver energy efficiency training to plumbing and construction modern apprentices.  

Juliet Mallace, Programme Manager at ESP, said: “Through our work with Scottish Government, Energy Savings Trust and SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund, we have developed a skills framework in support of the Energy Efficiency Scotland route map. It identified a significant gap in training provision across renewable and energy efficiency technologies. To address this, we have established an Energy Efficiency Training Network across Scotland’s colleges.

“Green Economy Fund support has enabled us to use the college network to upskill the energy sector’s future workforce as the country emerges from COVID-19. The Scottish Government’s ambitions place a great deal of momentum behind the energy sector, with colleges playing a crucial and pivotal role in moving forward the skills required to achieve the Government’s Net Zero carbon emissions targets.”

Our Green Economy Fund supports projects that help the Scottish Government in reaching its green targets, which aim to boost local economic growth, improve air quality and deliver a better future, quicker for local communities.

Frank Mitchell, Chief Executive of SP Energy Networks, said “Scotland has ambitious goals to become Net Zero by 2045. Flagship education projects, such as Energy Skills Partnership’s Energy Efficiency Training Network, supports this ambition and helps to power the next generation of green energy experts and develop the workforce of tomorrow.

“It’s incredible to see so many colleges coming together to help provide opportunities for skills developments within the energy, engineering, and construction sectors. The Green Economy Fund was created to help communities build their green economy and establish low carbon infrastructure. We’re delighted to contribute to the success of these nine Renewable & Energy Efficiency Training Centres as they help us all unlock Net Zero.”

Sarah Higgins, Director of Curriculum for Forth Valley College’s Department of Care, Sport and Construction, said: “We are all so excited to take delivery of our new renewable energy equipment, which will allow us to train the next generation of construction professionals in the essential skills of installing and maintaining energy saving systems.

“We thank SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund and ESP for the opportunity to offer this equipment to our students and we can’t wait to get it installed and our bespoke renewable training workshop up and running at our new Falkirk Campus.”

Find out more about the Green Economy Fund and the projects it supports. 


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