Mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged more help including a £130,000 skills fund to boost London’s fast-growing solar installations sector.

Solar Skills London, a next generation training programme launched in January, has received the grant extension from City Hall to deliver skilled workers capable of delivering the mayor’s commitment of 1.5GW of solar PV on the capital’s roofs by 2030.

That date coincides with Khan’s ambition for London to become a net zero carbon city.

Firms, contractors and sole traders interested in helping solar apprentices secure trade qualifications now have more time to sign up for £1,000 training grants.

An online careers portal for aspirant PV technicians also features in the scheme. It features job profiles, a one-stop shop of the various industry standards and qualifications as well as a comprehensive database of training courses and colleges.

Standards body the Microgeneration Certification Scheme is set to join the initiative as a delivery partner.

The MCS is tasked to increase the number and diversity of firms installing PV and power storage in London’s homes and commercial buildings.  A series of workshops will cover opportunities in the sector. Businesses will be encouraged with financial support to join the industry and achieve MCS accreditation.

Extending across the capital, Solar Skills London engages with boroughs, colleges and private firms to promote the solar and renewable energy sectors as exciting career paths.

Solar Energy UK boss Chris Hewett welcomed the careers hub’s role to encourage more newcomers to the sector.

“London-based members of the solar industry keep telling us they need new employees to help design, install, and operate more solar capacity,” said Hewett.   “The industry has come of age and it’s a hugely exciting time. The opportunities are almost limitless.”

MCS Chief Executive Ian Rippin said while more UK households were installing solar PV systems, London was lagging behind.

“That’s why we are pleased to be a part of this project to encourage more solar PV installers in the capital. Consumers are increasingly keen to invest in solar as it’s a proven way to cut costs and lower carbon emissions,” Rippin said.

 Solar Skills London can be accessed here.


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