A total of £3.5million in funding was announced last week to help train hundreds of people in key green skills ahead of the launch of the Green Deal, delivering on the Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement in March last year to create 1,000 Green Deal apprenticeships.

The Green Deal is the Government’s energy efficiency scheme aimed at renovating millions of draughty, energy-inefficient homes and office buildings across the UK. This scheme will begin in October this year and will support an estimated 65,000 jobs by 2015.

A workforce skilled in assessing home energy efficiency and installing insulation are crucial for getting the Green Deal off the ground. So far, too few people have been trained to make our homes greener, threatening the initiative which promises to refurbish 14m draughty homes by 2020. The scheme is definitely threatened by a shortage of "green" building skills, according to a damning new industry report by the Green Deal Skills Alliance (GDSA), which is responsible for overseeing training and accreditation. 

425 employers and training providers were surveyed, but only half of their installers had the basic skills required by the scheme. The survey also revealed that little more than half of the employers had heard of the scheme. The research will help the skills alliance draw up a programme of training, resulting in the award of a Green Deal quality mark. 

DECC is putting forward £3m and one of the leading partners in the Alliance, CITB-ConstructionSkills, will provide a further £500,000 towards the training of Green Deal insulation installers.