Skip to main
08 November 2022

Scotland’s colleges are transitioning at pace

ESP Sector Manager for Construction John Renwick tells us Scotland's colleges are ready to meet energy efficiency training needs

The Scottish Government has estimated that the total investment required to transform our homes and buildings is likely to be in excess of £33 billion as part of the transition for Scotland to become Net Zero by 2045.

This investment will generate significant opportunities for the economy across Scotland and will support high value local jobs.

As part of this transition, ESP is leading on developments in the colleges supporting delivery of Scotland's Heat in Building Strategy (HIBS).

ESP has gained substantial investment over the last few years from Scottish Government and SP Energy Network's Green Economy Fund.

This funding has allowed colleges to speed up the expansion of new and existing facilities ensuring that a national training infrastructure is in place to meet the demand.

Since 2020, there has been an increase of 325% in college offering green skills courses to support the construction and energy supply chain sector.

There is an increased demand for accredited qualifications as industry is required to demonstrate compliance against the standard PAS 2030.

However, colleges are not yet delivering to their full training capacity so there is currently capacity to train even more individuals and employers.

Although it is expected that the market for this training will increase significantly in future years and there may be a need to expand additional training facilities as required.

In time we would expect all 24 construction colleges to be offering low carbon green skills training.  

Colleges are not yet delivering to their full training capacity so there is currently capacity to train even more individuals and employers.
Green Skills Conference 2022

John Renwick

Sector Manager for Construction, ESP

It is imperative that quality of training is maintained throughout this transition, and this can be achieved through standardisation of delivery. We have training networks made up of college experts to advise and maintain the quality and skills of training in the colleges.

We also ensure through these networks that we invest in college staff and commission accredited training courses as well as work closely with manufacturers to cascade specific system knowledge.

In addition to the major investment applied to the development of the training centres, over a quarter of a million pounds funding via ESP has been accessed over the last few years by industry providing them with the certification that’s needed to install low carbon heating systems.

ESP will continue to transition colleges at pace to meet Scotland's green agenda and seek the additional funding to build up the capacity and capability of this network.

The skills pipeline demand has never been greater for this sector; it is worth highlighting that colleges have approximately 17,500 students studying some form of construction across Scotland’s colleges and all of them are seeking full time jobs.

Colleges are well positioned to transition people into this growth sector; industry can access this pool of work ready individuals by contacting your local or regional college.

Finally, transitioning of future skills needs to happen now, collaboration is the key to enable Scotland to have the skills in place to drive Net Zero targets by 2045.