The centre – which features a full-size ‘indoor house’ – has been opened by Liverpool Community College as part of its drive to invest in the sustainable sector.
The £250,000 facility at the College’s construction and engineering faculty on Vauxhall Road is seen as vital to ensure that Liverpool and the wider North West economy can benefit from the high growth levels in that sector.
The state of the art centre at the Vauxhall Road faculty includes a 3000 sqft workshop, with different practical rooms and a large internal area, where a life size house has been built, on which students can practise.
The workshops provide employers and their staff with practical experience of supplying and fitting the equipment as well as understanding the theory.
Courses on offer will include industry recognised qualifications for electricians, plumbers and heating engineers in sustainable technology, from installing solar panels to heat pumps and water recycling systems.
Elaine Bowker, principal at Liverpool Community College said: “The growth in the sustainable sector is a huge opportunity for this region. With the launch of this training centre, one of the largest in the UK, we will be able to equip workers and businesses with the skills they need to ensure our region will be the leader in the field of green technology.”
Joanne Ratcliff, head of faculty at Liverpool Community College, said: “We’re rightly proud of the facility we have developed here. We cover one of the largest training areas in the UK and have been recognised by the National Skills Academy as one of, if not the best in the country.
“The training centre, with the life-size house, gives students a real feel of the practicalities of installing green technology, even to the extent that they can learn what it’s like to install full size solar panels at height, on the roof of a house.”
These courses will soon be a legal requirement for everyone working in the sustainable industry and the College is advising firms to upskill their staff now to capitalise on growth in the sector.
Liverpool Community College will be running the courses for the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies and is one of only six centres in the country providing training in all green technologies.
The NSA is a recognised, countrywide network of accredited renewable training providers offering training and qualifications that meet the requirements of future legislation.
Steven Hunt, board director at the National Skills Academy said: “The opening of this centre in Liverpool is a major coup for the city and the region. It is one of the largest and best equipped centres in the country and will be vital for developing a skilled ‘green’ workforce in the North West. This in turn will help create jobs and ensure the region is in an enviable position to capitalise on growth in the sustainable sector.”