Following the launch of the Green Skills Academy at Langley College last November, the centre has had a wide range of adult students through its doors, all eager to gain the skills needed to undertake work on renewable heating, solar and ventilation systems, electric vehicles and agricultural technology. The Academy, which was funded by Berkshire LEP, has been providing free training to those living and working in Berkshire as part of the Skills Development Fund.
The centre has been fitted with all the latest equipment to be able to train existing plumbing, heating and electrical engineers to work on renewable systems and solar technology. The programme has been designed to upskill those already formally qualified in traditional plumbing and heating systems and offers short courses in Domestic Hot Water Storage Systems, Solar Thermal and Solar PV installation and maintenance and Heat Pump Systems installation and maintenance. The courses are BPEC accredited and recognised by MCS, which certifies standards for the renewable energies sector.
Project co-ordinator Michele Clarke commented on progress to date and said: “The launch of the centre and the associated courses has got off to a great start. I am delighted we have been able to work with small, medium and large enterprises to provide the training needed for the sector. Because the courses are short and accessible – we can be very flexible with timings. While we publish dates for the planned courses, we can actually arrange additional courses where needed to meet the needs of those interested and their busy schedules.” The team at the centre are also working directly with larger employers to arrange bespoke training for groups of employees. Michele added: “When working with larger companies, we can tailor the training to meet their specific skills needs, ensure their staff are qualified and compliant and add in any associated training required.”
The College, which is part of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, also received funding last year for a new Electric Vehicle Training Centre, which is also providing free training in Electric Vehicle Maintenance under the Skills Develop Fund. The courses are accredited by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and again are short programmes designed to upskill those already working in the industry.
Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA), also part of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group is leading a similar project to train people to maintain electric agricultural vehicles such as compact tractors or all-terrain vehicles. Again, the courses are free and funded by the Skills Development Fund.
To find out more, please visit the Group’s Green Skills webpage https://www.windsor-forest.ac.uk/industry-training/green-skills-construction/ or contact Michele Clarke at email@example.com.