The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) is driving up skills to support a growing demand for sustainable construction and green technology jobs in Haringey.
The college’s Green Academy Hub will play a vital role in creating a skilled workforce across the borough to help meet the UK’s target of reaching net zero by 2050.
The hub is part of the Mayor’s Skills Academies programme to support the capital’s recovery from the COVID pandemic and was launched following a successful bid by Capital City College Group, which includes CONEL.
The climate crisis and the need to reduce carbon emissions has further driven up demand for skilled workers in the construction sector, which is already facing a huge labour shortage. According to the Construction Industry Training Board, the industry requires 225,000 extra workers by 2027.
Research by Engineering UK and City & Guilds has also recognised the growth in the green sector. It found that demand for low carbon workers is skyrocketing with job postings for renewable energy managers growing by a staggering 1,114 per cent from 2019 to 2022.
The London Plan 2021, produced by the Greater London Authority, sets out how the capital will develop over the next 20-25 years and has identified the need for 66,000 new homes a year in the city. It has set a target for 15,920 new homes to be bult in Haringey by 2028-29.
Haringey Council launched its Haringey Climate Change Action Plan in March 2021, which outlines its strategy to make the borough carbon neutral by 2041. The plan identifies ways the council has agreed to reduce its own carbon footprint along with actions on housing, other buildings and workplaces, transport, energy and community support.
The council has embarked on plans to build 3,000 new sustainable council homes in the borough by 2031. It has also announced plans for a major energy efficiency and decarbonisation retrofit of all 15,000 council homes.
Among the authority’s other green ambitions set out in the plan is a target to half road transport emissions by 2025 by providing more public transport and low carbon options and improving infrastructure including the installation of electric vehicle charging points.
Haringey Council is among the many employers and bodies CONEL has worked alongside to develop courses for the hub to train people for jobs aligned with industry needs.
Other partners include four other London boroughs and the Department for Work and Pensions, Berkeley Group, Vistry Group, Worcester Bosch, Strive Development, MKAI, Peabody, United Living, Bloqs, Forest Recycling Project, Glass and Glazing Federation, Building Heroes and North London Waste Authority.
Over the past academic year, the hub has been piloting several free short courses on environmental awareness and introductions to green technology including air source heat pumps, solar thermal hot water systems, photovoltaic panels, electric vehicle charging points and drones.
From September the hub will be rolling out further free short courses on the installation and maintenance of the above green technology, as well as retrofitting courses at Level 1 and Level 2. These three-day long courses will provide the skills for anyone with an existing Level 3 plumbing or electrical qualification to legally work on domestic properties.
Courses will be available at the CONEL’s Tottenham Centre and the Enfield Skills Construction Academy, a partnership between Enfield Council, Countryside Partnerships and Capital City College Group, which includes CONEL.