SummitSkills moves to develop occupational skills in micro-generation

Looking to boost micro-generation skills — Keith Marshall of SummitSkills
SummitSkills is to update the National Occupational Standards for renewable technologies to ensure approved training and assessment is in place as a matter of priority. This move follows the completion of an independent report commissioned by SummitSkills earlier in the year and will see the development of the NOS and minimum technical competencies set for completion by March 2008. At present, significant efforts are needed to address training on micro-generation technologies in the UK. The report was undertaken by the National Energy Foundation and commissioned by SummitSkills and supported by Engineering Services Training Trust and the Heating & Ventilating Contractors’ Association. Keith Marshall, chief executive at SummitSkills, explains, ‘Micro-generation is a key part of the Government strategy to help combat climate change, promoted through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme. If it is to succeed, it is vital to increase the number of skilled installers and system designers who have been trained in these technologies to a recognised standard, or the UK risks falling short of its targets.’ The report concludes that solar thermal has largely led the way by establishing Logic and BPEC courses. The report also highlights that there are few micro-generation courses in CHP and hydro and that a limited number of them actually lead to a recognised qualification, particularly in wind and solar-PV. It also highlighted the lack of benchmarks for best practice in the installation of renewable-energy systems, which SummitSkills feels is responsible for hindering the development of training courses and the failure to establish an agreed process.
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