Retrofitting targets will require skilled workers and educational support

Dublin Fingal TD and Fine Gael Climate Action Spokesperson, Alan Farrell, has said that in order to hit our retrofitting targets, we will need to ensure there is a supply of skilled workers.

Deputy Farrell said, “The Government has set out an ambitious plan to retrofit homes and businesses across Ireland, in order to achieve these targets, we must ensure there are the educational supports to provide the skills needed.”

“I have raised this matter with the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, who I believe is committed to providing the necessary programmes to train, upskill and help workers take advantage of the opportunities presented by the National Retrofitting Plan.”

“There are currently 17 courses available with regard to green skills and this will play an important mechanism to training highly skilled workers. There has also been a significant increase in the funding for the development of training services, totalling €31 million.”

Deputy Farrell continued, “The development of retrofitting training centres is another positive step in ensuring that we have adequate resourcing for this sector, there are two currently in operation, with an additional 3 to opened this year. Having recently met with the Education & Training Board, I am acutely aware that an annual capital budget of circa €70m available to ETBI to deliver on the significant training needs of our population.

We need approximately 17,000 workers to meet our retrofitting ambitions, which sets Ireland the task of retrofitting 500,000 homes by 2030. This offers real possibilities for communities.”

Deputy Farrell concluded, “We have the ability now to provide warmer, more efficient homes, which in turn will result in lower home energy bills for households all over Ireland; and in the process provide well paid jobs in the process, allowing professionals to thrive, this is a win-win scenario.”

“Last week, the Government announced a significant ramping up of financial support for people seeking to make their homes more energy efficient. This includes covering up to half of the costs incurred by deep retrofitting projects, covering 80% of the costs of an attic or cavity wall insulation and crucially the development of a One Stop Shop that will guide individuals from start to finish.”