London’s fast-growing solar sector will receive a major boost from the Mayor this spring with the launch of a new online careers hub and more financial help for new and established solar businesses.
The online careers hub is a key part of Solar Skills London, a skills and training programme launched in March 2021 by the Mayor of London and Solar Energy UK, the leading industry body for solar energy and storage.
Solar Skills London has received £130,000 from City Hall to create more green jobs in the solar energy sector which will help towards the Mayor’s commitment to achieve 1.5GW of rooftop solar PV by 2030, reducing the capital’s reliance on fossil fuels. It will also support his ambition for London to become a net zero carbon city by the end of the decade*.
The online careers hub aims to help newcomers map out career paths in the solar and renewable energy industries. It features job profiles, a one-stop shop of the various industry standards and qualifications as well as a comprehensive database of training courses and colleges.
The next phase of Solar Skills London will also see MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) join the initiative as a delivery partner.
A key part of MCS’s role will be to increase the number and diversity of companies installing solar and energy storage systems in London. This will include hosting a series of workshops covering the opportunities available in the solar sector and encouraging businesses to join the industry by providing financial support to achieve MCS certification.
As a London-wide initiative, Solar Skills London will also engage with local authorities, educational establishments and the private sector to promote the solar and renewable energy sectors as exciting career paths.
For example, MCS will host careers talks to trainee electricians on the opportunities in the solar sector with a particular focus on engaging under-represented communities to improve diversity in the industry.
To help existing businesses expand into solar technologies, Solar Skills London has also extended the application period for grants of up to £1,000 for employers and contractors in London for solar-related training and development. More details available here.
Speaking about the launch of the new skills portal, Solar Energy UK Chief Executive Chris Hewett welcomed the launch of the careers hub to encourage more newcomers to the sector.
“London-based members of the solar industry keep telling us they need new employees to help design, install, and operate more solar capacity,” he said.
“The industry has come of age and it’s a hugely exciting time. The opportunities are almost limitless.”
MCS Chief Executive Ian Rippin said while more UK households were installing solar PV systems, London was lagging behind.
“That’s why we are pleased to be a part of this project to encourage more solar PV installers in the capital. Consumers are increasingly keen to invest in solar as it’s a proven way to cut costs and lower carbon emissions,” Rippin said.
Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said: “We are delighted to support this latest phase of Solar Skills London. Working with MCS and Solar Energy UK we’re continuing to invest in London’s solar businesses and green jobs in the solar workforce.
Increasing the number and diversity of companies able to install solar systems in London is vital to increasing London’s solar capacity and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. By supporting the next generation of solar installers, Solar Skills London will help ensure the workforce is in place to reach net zero carbon by 2030.”
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*The Mayor has endorsed the “Accelerated Green” pathway to achieving decarbonisation: Analysis of a Net Zero 2030 Target for Greater London
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