Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has confirmed four retrofitting centres of excellence are to open within the next three months.
The centres of excellence will open in Limerick and Clare ETB, Mayo Sligo and Leitrim ETB, Cork ETB, and Laois and Offaly ETB.
Minister Harris said:
"Retrofitting involves making homes more energy efficient and helping you to save money on your electricity bills.
"The government has set ambitious targets to retrofit 300,000 homes by 2030 but we need to ensure we have the workers to deliver it.
"Today, I am announcing we will establish four centres of excellence – four centres to train 2,000 people in retrofit skills, including Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) skills.
"So, if you are a worker in the construction area and you want to upskill in the area of green skills, then this could be for you."
Retrofit skills training including Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) skills is currently provided in a number of further and higher education facilities. This was initiated in the ETB Sector by Waterford & Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) at their Enniscorthy NZEB Centre and Waterford Training Centre and also includes training in Laois & Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB). WWETB also developed the National Skills Specifications in 2019 for NZEB, including retrofit, in collaboration with statutory and private stakeholders in the construction industry.
Retrofitting centres of excellence provide the very highest standards of training and qualifications to people attending them. This is a very important area of the economy and there are huge employment opportunities within it.
Minister Harris added:
"In Laois & Offaly ETB, we will have a particular focus for Bord Na Mona employees, including a six-day Skills To Advance programme that offers the trainee an opportunity to gain a Level 5 certificate in Thermal Insulation Installation and this will be expanded to include Ventilation and Air Tightness.
"We have a significant body of work to do to ensure Ireland is climate ready and we need workers to have the right skills to deliver on these huge challenges.
"For people seeking work, or people in employment, learning these climate skillsets will ensure you are ready for the future and are in the best place to find work into the future."