genesis centre

New skills boost for region

The UK’s green and renewable industries’ prospects have been boosted with the recent announcement by Skills Minister John Hayes of a new National Skills Academy (NSA) for Environmental Technologies.

And in the South West, The Genesis Centre at Somerset College, Taunton, has now been formally approved as one of only three founder hub members.

The National Skills Academy will receive up to £2.5m of funding over three years, matched by employers.   It will work with industry and training providers to ensure employers in new areas of business such as installation, maintenance and repair of photovoltaic panels, ground source heat pumps and biomass products, have a highly skilled workforce to help them grow - and to support the Government’s ambitions for renewable energy and low carbon growth.  

The Genesis Centre at Somerset College will be part of the National Skills Academy’s plans to deliver around 2000 publicly funded and over 200,000 privately funded training courses. It is part of the recently established national network of 14 specialist training provider ‘hubs’, based in Further Education Colleges, with over 80 accredited training providers throughout England.  

Training courses are starting at The Genesis Centre this month and more will be announced in the near future.

As a hub member, The Genesis Centre at Somerset College will lead the cluster of public and private training providers, including City of Bristol College, City College Plymouth, Weymouth College, Gloucester College, Nu-Heat Limited, P & R Hurt Limited and PETROC. They will deliver high quality training that meets national occupational standards for existing environmental technologies and new technologies as they emerge.

Rachel Davies, Principal of Somerset College, said: “Up-skilling in green technologies is vital to future jobs and employment in the sector.  Leading the cluster of training providers in our region for the Skills Academy will ensure we play a key role in developing the skills capabilities of the sector and help promote the green agenda to consumers.”

Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive of SummitSkills, said: “At present, training provision in this area is patchy across the country, and is not recognised as meeting the industry-recognised competence level. With the network structure of the Skills Academy, employers can now be confident they can gain accredited renewables skills in a location closer to their business.”