More heating apprentices needed in England as numbers fall during pandemic
Young adults in England are being urged to consider a career in the heating industry following a difficult year for apprenticeships during the pandemic.
According to the Department for Education*, the number of apprenticeships in England fell from 393,380 in 2018-19 to 268,700 in 2019-20. The report comes as the government sets out landmark changes to the way we heat our homes which will be reliant on skilled technicians to support households as they adopt new low carbon technologies.
The call is part of National Apprenticeship Week (7th to 13th February), a campaign to highlight the positive impact apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the economy. The theme for 2022 is 'build the future' and aims to initiate the growth of a talented workforce equipped with future-ready skills.
OFTEC, the trade association for liquid fuel heating, is urging young people to consider a career in the heating sector and the benefits it can bring from ‘earn while you learn’ transferrable skills, to practical hands-on experience working with a professional.
David Knipe, Training Manager at OFTEC, said: “Pre-Covid the heating sector was already facing a skills shortage but the pandemic and disruption to education has exacerbated the problem. As we look ahead more positively in 2022, this is a perfect time ripe with opportunities for young people to embark on an exciting career.
“Considering the rising cost of living and attending university, apprenticeships are a highly credible further education option and route into future employment. There are copious benefits including combined theoretical and practical training, meeting new people every day and a career where your skills are always in demand.”
The campaign comes as the government sets out ambitious plans to help the UK reach net zero emissions by 2025, which will require changes to the way we heat our homes through the adoption of low carbon technologies. Skilled technicians will be a central part of achieving this transition to greener heating.
For the oil heated households across the United Kingdom, plans are underway to transition homes to a sustainable renewable liquid fuel which reduces emissions by 88% and requires only a minor modification to the boiler.
David added: “This is an exciting time for the heating sector as we move towards a low carbon future. Renewable liquid fuels offer a simple solution for oil heated homes, so this is a great time to join the industry as a heating technician and help create a cleaner, greener future. We’ve already demonstrated the fuel in nearly 100 homes and are now working with the government to secure support for a wider rollout.”
For more information, visit www.oftec.org.