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Retrofit upskilling and reskilling programmes

Retrofit upskilling and reskilling programmes

Date: 17 Jan 2023

Record number of retrofitting enrolments for 2022

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, together with Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, have today welcomed the significant progress being made in the number of participants in near-zero energy building (NZEB) and retrofit upskilling and reskilling programmes in 2022.

Following progress in developing a national network of centres of excellence in retrofit skills training, including NZEB skills, the number of workers availing of these opportunities has increased steadily since the first centre was opened in 2020. The numbers have risen:
  • 363 to 793 enrolments in 2021
  • a record 2,034 enrolments in 2022

This reflects an increase of:
  • 118% between 2020 and 2021
  • 156% between 2021 and 2022

The skills training is provided in a number of further and higher education facilities, including at centres of excellence operated by:
  • Waterford and Wexford ETB
  • Laois and Offaly ETB
  • Limerick and Clare ETB

Courses are also delivered in Cork ETB and Mayo-Sligo-Leitrim ETB, with further provision due later this year and in 2024.The courses are free, fast and flexible with weekend and evening provision available. In many cases, where a person has an existing construction-related qualification, knowledge or experience, they can learn these skills quickly, usually within three to four days.

The SOLAS Green Skills for FET Roadmap 2021 to 2030 was launched in March 2022, incorporating the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and the Green Skills Action Programme, which began in 2021. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan committed to:
  • €29 million to NZEB and Retrofit upskilling and reskilling programmes
  • €10 million to green skills modules
  • providing 4,550 retrofit and NZEB standard places
  • providing 60,000 green skills places by the end of 2022

Alongside courses in NZEB and retrofit, a national suite of green skills programmes is currently being developed by SOLAS in collaboration with enterprise partners for blended delivery by ETBs in areas such as sustainability awareness and resource efficiency to assist in delivering on these challenges. A SOLAS eCollege course on Introduction to Green Skills was developed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland was launched on 28 November 2022 and gives a taster insight into sustainability at home and in work.