Local Energy North West Hub's story
LAD2 funded energy-saving improvements to the homes of people throughout the North West region, aiming to tackle fuel poverty, deliver cost-effective carbon savings, support clean growth and ensure homes are thermally comfortable, efficient, and well-adapted to climate change.
As retrofit is an “emerging market”, the North West Net Zero Hub, working with their partners Procure Plus Holdings, saw an opportunity to provide training and apprenticeships through the implementation of this programme.
The team built “social value” metrics into their decision-making tools, ensuring that work was carried out in a way that was both cost effective and meaningful for employees and trainees.
Local community and voluntary groups helped to secure referrals to entry-level and apprenticeship positions available throughout the supply chain. Procure Plus’ model enables short courses to be offered to individuals within the community, moving people swiftly into employment. Typically for this programme, training included carbon literacy, working at heights, asbestos awareness and health and safety certificates.
Additional support was offered throughout the first six months of employment, identifying opportunities for candidates to undertake further training and gain trade-based qualifications (e.g. multi-skilled apprenticeships) to develop careers within construction.
The programme worked with organisations supporting people from many backgrounds including; the long term unemployed; ex-offenders; BAME; NEET young people; disabled people; over 50s; people with a history of homelessness; and, people leaving the care system.
Carbon Copy's view: Whilst LAD2 funding ended in 2022, there have been a number of government announcements recently relating to the funding of retrofit programmes, energy efficiency measures and the ongoing energy crisis. Please look out for the latest funding schemes for local initiatives and if your area or organisation qualifies.
Useful learnings from Local Energy North West Hub
Being able to deliver real social value whilst also delivering an excellent procurement and management service is what has set the partnership apart, and meant the Hub has been able to deliver even more value for local communities.
Before starting any project it is useful to: make sure partners understand one another's requirements; make sure a partner has experience of managing procurements at the scale and complexity required; find a partner with the capacity to provide end-to-end support in procurement, delivery and social value.
A challenge of the programme is the one year funding cycle, but typical apprenticeships are two years in length.
Local Energy North West Hub's metrics
Number of people trained in retrofit jobs (44 are now trained).
Housing retrofit supply chain growth and carbon literacy.