Abingdon & Witney College launches new Net Zero Skills Hub

Abingdon & Witney College opened their new Net Zero Skills Hub last week, with a launch event at their Abingdon campus. Attended by over 60 employers and stakeholders including those from the construction, building, building services and sustainability industries, the event was an exciting opportunity to view the new training centre and to hear from experts about the importance of training for solving the climate emergency.

Hosted by Michael Huth, the College’s Net Zero Skills Hub manager, speakers included representatives from Oxford Direct Services (ODS), Lambert Home Builds and Cosy Homes.  A key note speech from Russell Smith, Founder and Director of Retrofit Works, set the scene and highlighted the number of people that need to be trained to work in the net zero arena in the future.

Jacqui Canton, Principal and CEO of Abingdon & Witney College, opened the event by outlining the college’s approach to developing the new centre, and explained that it was developed in partnership with employers, for employers.  Jacqui said “One of the strengths of further education colleges is the work that they do to support adults to gain the very latest skills training, whether this is to develop an existing career or to start a new one.  The Net Zero Skills Hub is a modern, vibrant training environment for adults with the very latest technology and equipment.  Our trainers are experts in their field, recently from industry, who are passionate about passing on their skills and making a real difference.  We are very proud of the investment that the college has made in this important sector and are very much looking forward to our first courses starting.”

The initial course offer includes qualifications in domestic retrofit, heat pump installation and maintenance, and renewable technology training for plumbing apprentices.  Courses in environmental awareness and introductions to rainwater harvesting, solar thermal, photovoltaic and heat pumps are also available.  Courses in airtightness principles, ventilation, insulation, and carbon literacy are already in development.

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