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Dramatic rise in demand for heat pump engineers predicted

The increase in heat pump demand will require up to 120,000 more engineers to be trained on the technology by 2020, according to SummitSkills, the sector skills council for the building services engineering sector.

The report, entitled Potential Demand in Environmental Technologies in Building Services Engineering, is the second of three from the organisation and focuses on the demands of individual regions, as well as the devolved nations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

The South-east saw the biggest predicted increase in demand with over 19,000 engineers required, followed by the North-west with 16,298; the lowest demand was from the North-east with 7,557.

The purpose of the report is to analyse potential training requirements scenarios to the year 2020 and then identify the potential flow-through of learners in each of the main environmental technologies related to the BSE sector.

There were two scenarios used to calculate the prediction - both were based on nominal percentages of the workforce trained to 2020, allowing for a growth rate of 2.4 per cent per annum between 2015 and 2020.

This is based on the former DTI growth forecast for the economy between 2015 and 2020.

SummitSkills added that, given that the forecast was made before the recession, that growth rate may be optimistic.

The industry body has also welcomed the publication of the Construction Innovation and Growth Team’s report into low-carbon construction.

It states that it specifically supports the identification of the need to acquire knowledge and skills as fundamental to innovation and provision of competitive advantage.

It is equally supportive of the report’s statements that increased quantities of new and existing skills are required, along with the urgent need to create the capacity to build and support these skills.

SummitSkills chief executive Keith Marshall (pictured) said that the report matches a number of findings his organisation has been working towards for a number of years.