Thursday, 08 March 2012 10:58
However, while large firms are believed to dominate Green Deal market, there are opportunities for SMEs too.
The scale of the challenge to upskill and accredit the workforce and training providers in time for the Green Deal cannot be under-estimated – but SMEs can profit from the scheme, new research has found.
The majority of the more than 400 employers and training providers from the energy assessment, advice and construction sectors across England, Wales and Scotland surveyed thought that although larger firms were more likely to dominate the Green Deal market, real opportunities for SMEs to win work would be made available through subcontracting for larger firms.
Respondents to the research commissioned by Green Deal Skills Alliance also indicated that the scheme had the potential to boost firms’ turnover by up to 20 per cent, and nearly a third of the workforce has the basic skills needed to deliver the scheme.
Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills said: "We know there is disquiet within the industry about larger firms dominating the Green Deal market. We are working to support SMEs so they can discover and unlock the scheme’s commercial and employment opportunities through our Cut the Carbon campaign and our work as part of the Green Deal Skills Alliance."
However amongst the concerns raised was that the workforce lacked knowledge in areas such as building fabrics and the impact energy efficiency measures on different types of buildings - so upskilling the workforce was still an urgent priority to make the scheme a success. Other issues highlighted in the report include:
• There is a lack of training in place to equip firms with Green Deal type skills;
• There is a low awareness of the Green Deal amongst the workforce;
• In this economic climate neither SMEs nor training providers will begin upskilling for the scheme unless there is a demand from consumers; and
• The current training is too generic and lacks detail about certain specific areas including insulation, building regulations an energy performance assessment.
Keith Marshall OBE, Chief Executive of SummitSkills, said: "Green Deal offers real opportunities for growth, so we are working with our partner sector skills councils to identify training requirements and provide development opportunities that could help employers in our sector through these tough times, as well as meeting the predicted consumer demand for renewable energy."
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