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"Communication is key", says National Skills Academy
Published:  31 October, 2013

Following the government's voucher scheme launch, Cathryn Hickey, executive director at the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies, has said "communication is key" when it comes to helping installers and their customers understand the benefits of going green.

Following the government's voucher scheme launch, Cathryn Hickey, executive director at the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies, has said "communication is key" when it comes to helping installers and their customers understand the benefits of going green.

"The National Skills Academy is fully supportive of the new training vouchers, which will provide a great incentive for building services engineers to upskill, ready for the increased business next year's domestic RHI will bring," said Hickey (pictured). "Installers are key to the success of the RHI; with direct access to end users, they have considerable power when it comes to educating consumers about the cost and carbon-saving credentials of microgeneration technologies.

"Training is a big part of this and we welcome the fact that vouchers are only redeemable through approved providers, such as National Skills Academy centres. This will ensure that installers are trained to the highest standards. Success does not end in the classroom, however. Installers need to be furnished with the right information, delivered in an understandable format in order to persuade potential RHI candidates. Criticisms of the Green Deal have included the arguably complicated way that it is presented; it would be ideal if this could be avoided when it comes to the RHI.

"To help installers make the sale which will allow them to install the equipment, the Academy has developed guides specifically designed to explain, in layman's terms, the options and benefits in relation to energy efficiency in the home – including renewables covered by the RHI. All of our technical training courses are accredited and supported by printed guides, full of easy-to-understand diagrams that can help in this task.

"When it comes to the training itself, our environmental awareness module covers the RHI, Green Deal and Feed in Tariffs and is included in all of the technical courses, as well as being available as a stand-alone module, giving candidates the facts when it comes to these schemes.

"With vouchers available on a first-come, first-served basis, we urge companies to register their interest at www.rhitraining.co.uk as soon as possible. To make the RHI a success, however, installers will need more than the right skills – they also need the tools to educate end users, something which the Academy will endeavour to support them with."