Having been active within the skills and training agenda, for over 25 years, we are now entering a time of major change, to meet the green agenda. For too long, skills has been an after-thought and lagged behind, we cannot afford to miss this opportunity to change approach. The sector has over the last few years been exposed to issues in respect of competency and poor installation techniques. This must not happen, at this key time of change.
The Skills and Training group of the Optimised Retrofit Programme, has brought together a unique poll of expertise from around the UK, to ensure that Wales delivers the competence and skills needed to deliver a greener Wales. I have personally not seen a group with such openness, passion and input to make this happen, which means we can move forward with confidence
Working with Welsh Government, trade associations and stakeholders, we are mapping the current skills programme, in terms of additions required or where new training units need to be added. Working together, and with the support of Colegau Cymru, training will be developed to maximise the job opportunities, sustain current roles, and create a more diverse workforce. There has been and still is a great amount of work to be undertaken in the sector, but I have always said ‘we have most of the pieces of the jigsaw, but not the final picture’…we must achieve this, to be successful.
There will be challenges ahead, to get the skills and competence to the level needed, as we will need to adapt training, upskill providers, and create a green unit in all programmes, so the wider context is understood by all. We are on the journey of evolution but not revolution in green skills training.
Wyn Prichard is director of construction skills and strategy at NPTC Group of Colleges and ORP board member and chair of the training and skills group