20th July 2016

 

EFFORTS to cut the amount of carbon used in the UK construction industry are being pioneered in the North East thanks to a new project led by construction innovators Esh Group, funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

The firm’s apprentices are poised to embark on the Carbon Coach Course – a skills building programme that instils carbon reduction and energy management knowledge in the next generation of construction workers.Esh Group’s latest cohort of 50 apprentices is poised to start the tailor made programme that equips young recruits with everything from knowledge on carbon footprint monitoring to the workings of energy efficient technologies.

The four module course – studied online – aims to give those beginning careers in construction the awareness and know-how to shape a sustainable future for the industry while reducing costs. Apprentices will apply their learning to real-life construction site situations as the course tasks them with reducing carbon consumption on developments. The project has a total cost of £49,460 to which CITB has contributed £34,600 over 13 months, via its Flexible Fund. CITB was impressed by Esh Group’s ambitions for its workforce and its commitment to sustainability.

Rita Callender, business development manager at Esh Group, said: “The Carbon Coach Course is about two key things: tackling a skills shortage in the construction industry and meeting carbon reduction targets.

Esh Group is excited to be leading the field in this way, and, once we’ve proven the model in a pilot, we hope to encourage other firms in our industry to use it.

“The construction industry not only faces more stringent carbon reduction targets in the coming years, but it also has a duty to lead the way in sustainable business practices.” Geeta Nathan, Head of Economic Analysis at CITB, said: “CITB is proud to fund a project committed to providing apprentices with the skills and training that will benefit the industry and the environment.

“The Carbon Coach Course will have a positive impact in the region and provide the next generation of construction workers with high-quality, innovative training to give them the best start to their careers.” Rita added: “By targeting apprentices early on in their training, we can help inspire many to make carbon reduction an important part of their careers.

“From a commercial perspective this also makes sense as saving energy means reducing costs and making our business more sustainable.”And it’s not just the construction world that Carbon Coach could benefit. The Government’s little known Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) presents a challenge for all kinds of employers – and Esh Group believes Carbon Coach is one solution to their problem.

ESOS is a mandatory assessment scheme for larger organisations in the UK to report on their energy usage, and many are so far unaware of their obligations and therefore open to significant fines. Rita added: “We are delighted that our programme has been selected for funding and by targeting apprentices early in their training, we can help inspire many to make carbon reduction an important part of their future careers.”

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