Jamie Wilson, director at WR HVACR, commented: “While we applaud the Government’s plan to decarbonise industry and cut UK emissions, there are concerns among the clients we work with that significant changes to legislation will exacerbate existing skills shortages across the sector.
“As this latest Budget highlights, the Government has already made significant progress in reducing carbon emissions from electricity generation, driven by the switch from coal to gas and the growth in renewable energy. Costs have fallen so quickly that offshore wind, onshore wind and solar are likely to be the UK’s primary source of electricity in the future. This has, unsurprisingly, already impacted demand for talent.
“However, as the Chancellor points out, the power generated by these renewable sources is dependent on the weather. As such, the Government is now focusing its attention on low carbon power from technologies such as nuclear, gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS), and hydrogen – which will further impact skills demand in the medium and longer term.
“Against this backdrop, we support the Chancellor’s ongoing commitment to apprenticeships – which was also underlined in yesterday’s budget - specifically the Apprenticeship Levy which has enabled the government to raise the standard of apprenticeships, supporting employers to make a long-term, sustainable investment in training. Through investing in skills development, we can build strong pipelines of talent which our clients are relying on to deliver future-fit instillations and maintenance.”