SCOTLAND’S first community-based energy education centre has appointed husband and wife training specialists Ian and Carolynn Edgeworth to lead the delivery of its programmes and workshops.
Ian takes on the role of technical director at The Energy Training Academy in Edinburgh, while Carolynn joins as manager, both having previously held similar positions within the industry.
The pair have nearly 40 years of energy sector experience between them and their arrival completes the academy’s senior management team.
The 12,000-ft complex will offer upskilling opportunities in renewables for traditionally trained domestic and commercial gas engineers, with the first heat pump courses scheduled for early this year.
The academy, which will run as a social enterprise, also aims to be a valuable asset to the community with extended work placements for apprentices a ‘central element’ of the plans.
“I have always had a real passion for education, whether that was in my early days as an employer bringing through apprentices or for a number of years now as a technical trainer,” said Ian. “This is a really exciting project and it was clear from the outset what the vision was. It just needs someone with my background to make that vision a reality.
“These are real challenging times for the energy industry just now and it needs to diversify, so the academy will cover all aspects of the sector from the traditional fuel we currently rely on such as gas and oil to the more sustainable utilisation of renewable technology. It’s a socially conscious centre, also, offering a whole range of projects.
“We want to be in the driving seat when it comes to delivering courses, qualification and support which are at the forefront of a carbon neutral vision, so there is a massive scope covering training and assessment as well as helping to show school kids and the next generation of energy engineer there is a pathway to a career in new inclusive industries.
“As the UK looks to phase out the use of fossil fuels in the coming years, the Academy will be well equipped as one of the largest facilities of its type in the UK and has the potential to break down so many barriers and become the go-to place in the sector. It is going to be a unique facility, the only one of its kind in the country.”
As well as managing the office, Carolynn will be the lead internal verifier, overseeing candidates’ paperwork prior to submission to the awarding body.
She added, “Ian and I work well together and I’d like to think that anyone coming into the academy who don’t know us, won’t be aware we are husband and wife as we are able to separate the domestic and professional roles. Our experience in both the technical and administration side of the energy industry means we can achieve the academy’s ambitions and goals.
“The changes that are happening in the energy sector make this such an exciting project to be part of. It’s really good to see a centre embrace the changes ahead.
“The social impact side of the academy is fantastic. And as a mum of a teenager I know how difficult it is for the younger generation to choose a career path. This is a great opportunity for pupils to see what is involved with gas and renewables and hopefully give them inspiration to make an impact in the industry in the years to come.”