Green Deal Training: Dave Roberts from UTN Renewables, Interviewed at Greenbuild 2012
Author: David Thomas
Published: Thursday, 07 June 2012
Dave Roberts runs the UTN Training facility in Wakefield, regarded by many as the best in the North of England. Dave tells us about the facility, and how UTN is preparing for The Green Deal.
Policy behind the Green Deal states all installers have to be accredited according to certain standards. And at every stage along the customer’s ‘journey’ there is an assessor, an installer or other accredited individual.
When The Green Deal lands in October there will be the need for accredited installers, and UTN are the leading providers equipped to do this. UTN’s partnership deals with Kingspan and Ploughcroft (whose MD Chris Hopkins we interviewed at Ecobuild) will see thousands of installers coming out of its training centre in the next few years with the skills and attention to detail necessary to carry out Green Deal improvements.
As an indication of the commitment to providing top level training to UK installers – and ‘will be’ assessors – Dave tells us UTN have already invested in £200k in preparing the ground for training, buying another entire floor to kit out with training rooms, an IT centre, and improving their already top of the range training roofs.
Dave was kind enough to speak to me about UTN’s facility and his personal forecast for the Green Deal. UTN is well known for its conscientious approach that prioritises quality and a thorough finish, which are the practical skills and philosophy that a good installer needs to expand his or her business.
In addition to practical training, Dave mentions the new IT Centre that UTN has invested in. The Green Deal comes at a time when businesses are increasingly moving online. UTN accepts the switch to computer and offers a solid grounding in that aspect too. I met Dave thanks to Rob Wellman from the National Skills Academy: the network to which UTN belongs.
Scroll down for the video interview, and scroll further for the transcript.
Interview with UTN Renewables’ Dave Roberts
Dave told me about when UTN was founded and how it is gearing up for the Green Deal.
The Eco Experts:Could you tell us about UTN Training please?
Dave Roberts: “UTN Training was started in
1996 by a guy called Steve Fisher. And we've been helping safety training providers since then, working with a lot of the major construction companies and we still work with those guys to this day.
In the last seven months we have put together UTN Renewables, to look at everything connected with: solar PV (photovoltaic), solar thermal, wind, biomass, heat pumps…
We're looking to take across the quality of training we've delivered and the procedures we've got, to apply to this new venture in training.”
The Eco Experts: And how are your facilities geared up for The Green Deal?
Dave Roberts: “The Green Deal is going to be quite big for us, and for a lot of people as well - not just unique to us obviously.
We have already got eleven classrooms, and we've just taken on another floor, which we've spent £100k fitting out with another five classrooms, an IT suite… so when it comes to the domestic energy assessor, and then the add-on of The Green Deal advisor, we are already geared up to run when that is launched. Now whether that is in 2 months, 4 months or 6 months, UTN are ready to roll.”
The Eco Experts: What's your Green Deal forecast?
Do you think it will help bring people out of fuel poverty?
Dave Roberts: “Lots of scepticism about it in fairness, but talk to the people with the right attitude; we believe The Green Deal will benefit everybody. As a company we wouldn't have invested £200k in the last six months.
Certainly, it's going to move forward. Our relationships are growing: we've just formed an alliance with Kingspan, we've just formed another alliance with Ploughcroft, who want us to deliver all their training; everybody sees it as a good move forward.”