Cover of HHIC report on Skills, Training and the Future of Heat

Lack of heat pump installers is major barrier to decarbonisation, says HHIC

The UK may need three times as many heat pump installers as previously reckoned to meet the government’s target of 600,000 installations a year. Research from HHIC has found that 150,000 workers may be needed, not the widely promoted figure of 50,000.

HHIC has been examining working practices throughout its membership and has also found that the industry will need 100,000 new entrants to the industry.

Steve Keeton, chair of HHIC’s Systems Group says: “The industry is at a pivotal point. With an ageing workforce and exacerbated demand for modernised skillsets, we really must look to new entrants as fundamental in providing the solution. The government must push harder than ever to engage and incentivise existing heating engineers to build skills in renewable technologies.

“In addition, it must attract more new people to enter the industry and appeal to the younger generation to proactively include low-carbon technologies in their portfolio. It is the cornerstone we need in order to achieve our nation’s emissions goals.”

HHIC says there is no silver bullet approach to decarbonisation. Collectively, the UK must look towards alternatives if it’s to hit 2028 and 2050 sustainable heating targets. “It is imperative that the UK’s heating strategy looks at a multi-dimensional approach,” says Steve.

“This gives the installer options and the customer choice. If we are to successfully meet our 2050 ambitions, heat networks and hydrogen must be part of the strategy, in tandem with heat pump initiatives. This is inevitably going to require an upskilling and incentivisation,of the workforce, so we must work from the grassroots up in order to create the bedrock of multi-skilled installers to successfully decarbonise the heating economy.” 

You can read the report and find out more about the research here.

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