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City College Plymouth Launches Retrofit Training Academy

02 December 2022 | College News

Jobseekers and tradespeople with an interest in creating a more sustainable and low carbon future can now acquire a recognised qualification with The Retrofit Academy at City College Plymouth.

With a view of contributing to a greener society, overcoming challenges and barriers faced with those wanting to enter the sector and providing economic support and new career opportunities by making retrofit more accessible to all, the College has opened the first academy in partnership with The Retrofit Academy and will offer a new level 2 award that will support anyone wishing to join this exciting sector.

As an official partner of The Retrofit Academy CIC, City College has joined a growing network that aims to support and drive a low-carbon future by training a new generation of retrofit professionals as well as bettering homes and lives through domestic decarbonisation. The level 2 award will support those already working in construction such as plasterers, heating engineers and carpenters who would like to acquire specific retrofit skills. It is also suitable for those wishing to join the industry with no previous construction experience.

Dan Burnard, Programme Area Manager for Construction at the College, said: “Retrofit is generating a new wave of exciting career opportunities and through this membership we will not only be offering people the chance to learn essential skills vital for this industry, but we will be providing them with an overall understanding of the sector, setting out the wide variety of options they will have.

“Even working at the current building regulations level, we are still not carbon neutral. We are set to be retrofitting new builds within five years. To future-proof houses and minimise climate change we are going to need to retrofit one house every minute in the next 25 years to meet the carbon targets of 2050. Academies such as this one are key to ensuring we have enough people to meet these targets.”

The Retrofit Academy at City College is part of the Government’s Skills Bootcamp initiative, which means those who are self-employed – or unemployed – can complete a Level 2 Award in Domestic Retrofit for free. The Skills Bootcamp also includes training and certification in piloting drones. Employers might also wish to enrol staff with funding available.

Lance Chatfield, the Executive of Technical Innovation and the lead for the College’s maritime, manufacturing and construction and built environment strategic action, added: “Dan is correct about just what we need to do to meet these crucial targets. Having been the first further education college in the UK to sign the climate emergency declaration, this Retrofit Academy is another way City College is taking action to deliver on its vision to make a meaningful contribution to the development of our city and to actively contribute to efforts to protect the environment for future generations. Academies such as this one improve the lives of people both today and in the future.”

The Retrofit Academy officially launched on Tuesday 29 November, with the Green Construction Skills Bootcamp set to run its first course in the new year. Employers wishing to enrol staff on the training will be asked to contribute 10% of the costs if they have fewer than 250 employees, whilst companies with more than 250 employees will be asked to pay 30% of the training costs. Adults wishing to sign up to the Skills Bootcamp can do so via www.cityplym.ac.uk/skills-bootcamps/

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