The recruitment-cum-upskilling initiative comes as ministers are reportedly close to releasing next month their long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy.
Whitehall policy already hinted at implies that electric heat pump installations must soar to 600,000 a year as early as 2028, according to HPA chair Phil Hurley. Only 35,000 devices were fitted in 2020.
Such growth means a doubling as early as 2023 of the UK’s 3,200 installers currently qualified, the HPA calculates. By 2030, that skills base must rise to over 50,000 specialists.
The HPA is preparing by expanding its training centres from 22 now, with capacity to train 7,000 technicians a year, up to 37. A simplified syllabus too must lead changes needed to overhaul training and qualifying programmes which Hurley describes as ‘bureaucratic’.
Hailing the HPA initiative as a ‘landmark achievement’, Hurley said it had been delivered in ‘constructive partnership’ with Beis officials.
“With the right support and signals from government, the HPA is confident that the heat pump industry is ready and able to deliver this capacity”, said Hurley.
Energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng praised the drive. “The government is absolutely committed to working with industry to drive down the costs of heat pumps so they are increasingly affordable for consumers,” he said.
“While heat pumps are fast becoming a natural option for households, we need to ensure we have enough skilled tradespeople to hit our target of 600,000 installations each year by 2028”.