Budget Statement: SNIPEF calls for enhanced skills development to match the Scottish Government’s £358M budget investment in home heating upgrades

December 19, 2023

Chief Executive urges focus on workforce development to meet ambitious transition goals.

Following today's budget announcement by the Scottish Government, which includes a £358 million investment in home energy efficiency installations and upgrades, Fiona Hodgson, Chief Executive of the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation, said.

"We applaud the Scottish Government's ongoing commitment to home heating upgrades as a key measure in reducing our national carbon footprint. Nevertheless, the lack of focus on training and upskilling the necessary workforce for these upgrades is a significant concern.

“Our disappointment lies in the budget's failure to address specific needs for apprenticeships and skill development funding, essential for both new and existing workers in our profession. This gap could potentially impede the effective execution of these critical heating upgrades, which are vital for meeting our energy efficiency targets.

“The role of the plumbing and heating profession is integral to the installation, maintenance, and upgrade of these systems. Therefore, investment in the professional development of our workforce is not just about skill enhancement; it's crucial for the successful and efficient implementation of these sustainability initiatives."

In response to Finance Secretary, Shona Robison MSP, remarks on the Green Industrial Strategy following the budget statement, Hodgson commented:

"We remain optimistic about the Scottish Government's forthcoming Green Industrial Strategy, eagerly anticipating a comprehensive approach that spans a range of critical areas.

“Our expectation is for a strategy that robustly addresses research and development, manufacturing processes, and, crucially, the cultivation of skills across various sectors. Such a multifaceted approach is vital for the strategy's success in fostering a sustainable, green industrial future.

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