Training minister launches green skills initiative with first hands-on construction workshop

Jamie Hepburn MSP

A practical workshop of a ‘pioneering’ green skills programme has been hosted by Jamie Hepburn MSP at the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC).

Low Carbon Learning is Scotland’s first publicly funded training programme in Passivhaus and EnerPHit.

The Scottish Government minister for higher education and further education, youth employment and training helped launch the initiative, which aims to up-skill and re-skill more than 700 people to meet the demand for green skills required by the construction sector.

The training programme is aimed at construction workers who may be out of work or are facing the prospect of redundancy, supporting them to get back into construction with new skills and knowledge aligned with the future demands of the sector.

Mr Hepburn said, “The scale of the climate emergency is so great that it is crucial that we all work together in an efficient, organised and co-ordinated way to get the most out of the available resources. Programmes like this reassure me that much good, collaborative work is being done.”

Running until the end of July 2022, the programme combines face-to-face practical sessions at CSIC’s Innovation Factory with virtual classroom-style learning. Training focuses largely on Passivhaus standards and EnerPHit – the Passivhaus standard for retrofit projects.

Morrison Construction and other industry partners are developing a Passivhaus solution for a steel frame construction and, together with CSIC, will look to create a specialised training rig to support learners to explore different construction systems.

Caitriona Jordan, head of retrofit programmes at CSIC, added, “New green skills are critical to helping the construction sector and built environment move towards a low carbon future. Reskilling and upskilling is an essential element of that, ensuring the current workforce is able to meet the emerging demand for new processes and standards such as Passivhaus and EnerPHit.

“It is fitting that the first practical session coincides with the built environment day of COP26, and continued momentum around low carbon construction in the period following the climate summit will only underline the importance of developing new sustainable skills.”