YOUNG adults in Cornwall are being urged to consider a career in the heating industry to help tackle a growing shortfall in the workforce.

The call comes as Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, pledged a £60-million of new investment to drive apprenticeships, it follows a recent government report which revealed that the number of apprentices starting in 2022/23 fell by almost five per cent, with under 19s making up just over 23 per cent of the new intake.

In response, OFTEC, a registration body and leading training provider for off-grid heating technicians, is promoting the opportunities of working in the heating sector, from ‘earn while you learn’ transferrable skills, to practical hands-on experience.

The shortage in apprenticeships comes at a critical time for the heating industry which will be reliant on new technicians entering the industry to support the transition to greener heating technologies in the home from heat pumps to renewable liquid fuels.

David Knipe, training manager at OFTEC, said: “With new low carbon technologies on the market and the demand for reliable technicians increasing, it’s the perfect time for young people to embark on a career in the heating industry.

“With the rising cost of university tuition fees, apprenticeships are a highly credible further education option and a great route into future employment. There are numerous benefits to combining theoretical and practical training, meeting new people every day and a career where your skills are always in demand.

“To support new entrants, one year’s free OFTEC registration is available to those who have successfully completed an apprenticeship in a relevant trade and have taken the OFTEC assessments.”

For the UK’s 1.7-million oil heated households, plans have already been put forward to transition homes onto a renewable liquid fuel alternative which reduces emissions by 88 per cent and requires only a minor modification to the boiler. It follows a successful demonstration project in around 150 buildings using the fuel Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). OFTEC and industry partners are working with the government to secure support for a wider rollout.

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