Enrolment in retrofit programme soars five-fold
The number of workers enrolled in the Near Zero Energy Building and Retrofit upskilling programmes has soared from 363 in 2020 to a record 2,034 in 2022. This is a major advance in creating new green jobs and is an important step towards halving Ireland’s carbon emissions by 2030.
Near Zero Energy Buildings are so energy efficient that their net energy usage is nearly zero and use renewable sources as their dominant energy source. The government has set a target to retrofit 500,000 homes by 2030 and €29m was allocated to retrofitting skills training programmes in March 2022 as part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD praised the success of the courses;
“This year the government met our target to retrofit 27,000 homes and next year we will retrofit 37,000 homes. People across the country are seizing this opportunity to make their homes warmer, healthier and cheaper to run. I’m delighted to see such a strong uptake of skilled people to meet this demand.
“Not only does this save people money and make their homes more comfortable, it also provides thousands of workers with valuable green skills that will provide them with a career for years to come. Green jobs are sustainable jobs for the long-term.”
The retrofitting training is provided in a number of further education facilities including Centres of Excellence in Cork, Mayo, Wexford, Offaly and Limerick, with further provision later this year and in 2024. The courses are free with flexible schedules including evening and weekend classes.
Francis Noel Duffy TD, Green Party Spokesperson for Housing, said;
“Retrofitting is both an important economic activity, and critical in meeting Ireland’s climate targets. As we move forward with the housing challenge, it is essential that we encourage environmentally responsible and sustainable builds. These schemes will make homes more energy efficient and reduce household bills, benefitting both the environment and people struggling with the rising cost of living. These free, flexible courses allow people to learn new skills quickly and the surge in participants shows how valued the courses are.”