'Communication is key' says the National Skills Academy following training voucher launch

Published on Monday, 02 December 2013 16:37
Written by Vicki Mitchem

Following the government's announcement last week that £500,000 has been pledged to help installers train in heat-based renewables through a voucher scheme, Cathryn Hickey, executive director of the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies, says "communication is key" when it comes to helping installers and their customers understand the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the benefits of going green.

"The National Skills Academy is fully supportive of the new training vouchers, which will provide a great incentive for building services engineers to up-skill, ready for the increased business next year's domestic RHI will bring," said Cathryn. "Installers are key to the success of the RHI; with direct access to end users, they have considerable power when it comes to educating consumers about the cost and carbon saving credentials of microgeneration technologies.

"Training is a big part of this and we welcome the fact that vouchers are only redeemable through approved providers, such as National Skills Academy centres; this will ensure that installers are trained to the highest standards. Success does not end in the classroom, however. Installers need to be furnished with the right information, delivered in an understandable format in order to persuade potential RHI candidates. Criticisms of the Green Deal have included the arguably complicated way that it is presented, it would be ideal if this could be avoided when it comes to the RHI.

"To help installers make the sale which will allow them to install the equipment, the Academy has developed guides specifically designed to explain, in layman's terms, the options and benefits in relation to energy efficiency in the home; including renewables covered by the RHI. All of our technical training courses accredited and are also supported by printed guides, full of easy-to-understand diagrams that can also help in this task.

"When it comes to the training itself, our environmental awareness module covers the RHI, Green Deal and Feed in Tariffs (FiTs) and is included in all of the technical courses (as well as being available as a stand-alone module), giving candidates the facts when it comes to these schemes.

"With vouchers available on a first come first served basis, we urge companies to register their interest at www.rhitraining.co.uk, as soon as possible. To make the RHI a success, however, installers will need more than the right skills, they also need the tools to educate end users, something which the Academy will endeavour to support them with."

For more information about the National Skills Academy's range of consumer and installer guides, visit www.nsaet.org.uk/shop. Once RHI training vouchers are available they can be used at Academy centres throughout the country, to find your nearest, visit: http://www.nsaet.org.uk/contact-us/

Source: National Skills Acadey

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