New retrofit training programme launched for construction workers

CONSTRUCTION Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is introducing its Low Carbon Learning programme, hailed as the UK’s first ever training course designed to give construction workers the skills to retrofit buildings for a low carbon future.

The £450,000 programme aims to up-skill and re-skill more than 700 people to deliver low energy buildings. The initiative will start at a webinar on September 30th featuring experts from the Passivhaus Trust, Renfrewshire Council, John Gilbert Architects, and CSIC.

Low Carbon Learning is supported by the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council through the National Transition Training Fund and builds on the Passivhaus in Practice initiative, delivered by CSIC earlier this year. The programme will run until the end of July 2022.

CSIC explained that face-to-face training will be delivered to 200 people at the organisation’s Innovation Factory near Hamilton on Passivhaus standards. 100 of them will go on to become certified practitioners.

In collaboration with industry partners, Morrison Construction is providing a £75,000 steel rig to support the Passivhaus standard training, helping to explore different construction systems.

A further 500 people will be trained online with retrofit and the EnerPHit standard, which CSIC said is the ‘global benchmark’ for retrofitting existing properties to Passivhaus guidelines. 200 will be trained in-person and can gain limited accreditation.

The programme is aimed at construction workers who may be unemployed or are facing the prospect of redundancy. The training is aligned to future demands and will teach the participants new skills and knowledge to support them back into work.

Caitriona Jordan, future skills manager at CSIC, said, “Skills will be an absolutely critical part of helping the construction sector – and the UK and Scottish economies, more generally – move towards a net zero future. Our Passivhaus in Practice programme was highly successful in helping construction workers develop their knowledge and expertise of the gold standard for energy efficient homes, and this second phase will build on that by bringing in more people and providing the opportunity for participants to learn about EnerPHit as well.

“More people in the sector with knowledge of, and the skills necessary to deliver these types of buildings will help energy efficiency become more mainstream. It will also help ensure we have a workforce fit for the future and could help create new jobs in the construction supply chain, while addressing societal issues such as fuel poverty.”

David Pierpoint, chief executive of The Retrofit Academy, added, “Low Carbon Learning is a great step in providing much-needed low carbon retrofit skills in the construction sector. The built environment is responsible for a significant amount of the UK and Scotland’s carbon emissions, with the vast majority of the buildings that will exist in the decades to come already built. There is a huge opportunity to train our existing workforce with new skills, and bring much-needed new talent into the sector, which will help contribute to the challenge of decarbonising our existing stock and address skills gaps.”

For more information and to register for Low Carbon Learning, visit: