Young adults in the UK encouraged to tackle climate change through heating apprenticeship

Feb 4, 2020, 15:57 PM by OFTEC
As part of National Apprenticeship Week (3rd to 9th February 2020), young adults across the UK are being encouraged to take up a career in the heating sector and play an important role in tackling the climate change crisis.

The call follows a recent report by the National Grid which revealed 400,000 energy related jobs will need to be filled to create a workforce fit to achieve net zero emissions by 2050*.

According to the findings, 260,000 of the roles will be new, including skilled technicians, engineers and other specialists, while 140,000 will replace those who have left the sector.

Research by YouGov* confirms that over two thirds (81%) of young adults aged 18-24 think it is important to play a role in the UK’s journey to net zero, while over half (58%) want to work for an organisation that contributes to this goal.

OFTEC, the trade association for the oil heating industry, says a career in the sector can provide a secure, rewarding future in a role which directly contributes to a cleaner, greener future for the 1.53 million homes in the UK currently heated by oil.

David Knipe, OFTEC Training ManagerDavid Knipe, training manager explains: “The industry is currently developing a sustainable low carbon liquid fuel alternative to heating oil which could see all oil heated homes running on a 100% liquid biofuel by 2035. This means there is a strong future ahead for liquid fuels and all those involved in its production and supply, alongside the skilled technicians needed to install and maintain liquid fuel boilers.”

Fuelled by the high costs of going to university and the rising cost of living, apprenticeships are increasingly being seen as a highly credible further education option and route into future employment, with more and more students and parents recognising the benefits of combining theoretical and practical training.

To push the drive for ‘tomorrow’s technicians’, OFTEC is offering advice for young people around the benefits of apprenticeships and starting a career within the heating industry:

  • Transferable skills - The Level 3 Heating and Plumbing Apprenticeship Standard is designed by employers to ensure that you gain the right skills and knowledge to become a certified heating technician.

  • Practical work experience – you will work with a competent employer within the heating sector and gain practical experience from real-life scenarios installing and monitoring sustainable heating systems, allowing you to apply knowledge and learn faster.

  • Earn while you learn – you will be paid a minimum of £3.90 per hour (often increases with age and experience) whilst completing the apprenticeship and you will be in a great space for achieving further employment from the employer.

  • Professional recognition - After completing the apprenticeship, you may be able to apply for EngTech registration by the Engineering Council as a and globally recognised Engineering Technician, where you can also contribute to the growing discussions around climate change and sustainable heating.

  • One year’s free OFTEC membership – Following your apprenticeship you can apply for one year’s free liquid or solid fuel registration with OFTEC’s competent persons scheme to demonstrate your professionalism to customers, receive ongoing technical support and enjoy a host of other benefits.

  • Play a role in a net zero future – above all, as an apprentice in the heating industry you will be a part of the next generation of heating technicians, supporting and influencing future net zero solutions for the benefits of the UK and the World!

David Knipe added: “With just under half (48%) of OFTEC technicians starting their career through an apprenticeship, we know that this is an excellent opportunity for young adults to gain the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience to install and maintain liquid fuel boilers that are fit for a net zero future.”

To find out more about apprenticeship and training opportunities within the sector, visit

National Grid report ‘Building the net zero energy workforce’, January 2020

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