A new collaboration between the council and a green training provider will upgrade thousands of homes in Birmingham as well as creating jobs.
Through their three-year partnership with the Retrofit Academy, Birmingham City Council will upgrade 60,000 homes to make them more energy efficient.
The retrofit measures will help to decarbonise the city’s housing stock as well as cutting energy bills for its residents.
This retrofit programme and skills boost comes after the city received £24.8m from the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) with which to make energy efficiency upgrades to 2,047 social homes in the region, as well as a share of the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG).
Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness at Birmingham City Council, said:
The city council’s housing stock is a large contributor to Birmingham’s carbon emissions, accounting for 26 per cent of the city’s total – so this retrofit scheme is vital in tackling heat emissions and helping us achieve a net zero position.
“Working with the Retrofit Academy will help bolster the number of qualified retrofitters who are going to help Birmingham deliver warm, energy-efficient homes that help reduce energy bills as well as emissions while supporting green jobs and the retrofit sector.”
Earlier this year, more than 23,000 flats and homes rented out by the council were found to have failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard, leaving tenants potentially at risk of serious harm.
Following this, in May the city council was heavily criticised by the Regulator for Social Housing for the “inexcusable” state of its homes, as well as facing criticism from Housing Minister Micheal Gove.
In a statement, the Birmingham City Council apologised for its failures and accelerated measures to fix the issues, including a hotline for concerned tenants to call.
Additionally, on Monday August 7, the council held a ‘Meet the Ombudsman’ event at the council house in Victoria Square which allowed guests to ask questions about how the service works.
The region needs a skilled workforce to deliver necessary retrofit work
The UK retrofit industry estimates a need for 400,000 workers by 2050, and the Retrofit Academy aim to drive the ‘development of 200,000 competent retrofitters by 2030’.
Over the course of their collaboration with the council, the Retrofit Academy will grow the green workforce in the West Midlands by identifying local training providers as well as providing the knowledge, support and expertise to deliver the courses.
The roles to be made available will provide salaries in the region of £25k-50k on average, depending on experience and the company or organisation.
David Pierpoint, Chief Executive at The Retrofit Academy, said:
Across the UK, SHDF and HUG programmes have created a raft of demand for quality retrofit specialists, but there remains work to be done to train enough people and create a developed network to facilitate this change at scale.
“Our joint objective is to create a network of like-minded organisations who work together to decarbonise homes in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, whilst also creating jobs and career opportunities for local people.”