College’s smart meter academy launched

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St Helens College has announced the launch of a Smart Meter Training Academy at St Helens College Technology Centre Campus.

The new training academy, which has been created in partnership with Future Energy, a

provider of training for candidates wishing to become smart meter installers, will help to address huge skills shortages in the sector.

Current industry estimates suggest that up to 16,000 new smart meter engineers will need to be recruited and trained in order to meet requirements.

Over the next five years, the energy industry has committed to providing smart meters for every household in Britain in order to meet the Government’s 2020 target.

Smart meters provide accurate energy use readings to energy suppliers using wireless technology.

As part of the smart meter roll out, households will be provided with in-home displays which will allow them to monitor their energy use and bills.

It is planned that the smart meter roll out will commence in autumn 2016 with estimations that energy suppliers will replace over 52 million gas and electricity meters in 30 million homes and small businesses.

At the peak of the roll out, installers will be changing approximately 60,000 meters every working day.

Deputy principal Rob Molloy said: “There is a recognised shortage of qualified Smart Meter engineers and this now represents a viable, long term career option for suitably trained installers.

“As a college we have taken the decision to invest with Future Energy in creating an excellent facility that will enable us to deliver smart meter training and help develop this burgeoning industry.”

He added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Future Energy to deliver comprehensive, credible, industry relevant training.”

The academy will provide BPEC accredited training for candidates wishing to acquire a level two diploma in Smart Metering Gas, Power or Dual Fuel.

It will support training for those currently working in the industry as well as new entrants and Smart Meter apprentices.

Tim Cantle-Jones, managing director of Future Energy Group, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with St Helens College in this most exciting venture.

“The smart meter roll out is a huge logistical exercise and there is a need to train at least 16,000 new engineers to fit smart meters to every home in Britain.

“The centre at St Helens will provide training for candidates throughout the Northwest of England and will support the creation of up to 1,000 new jobs over the next five years.”