Skills for Growth

New courses in retrofitting available to boost employment opportunities

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NEW training courses in retrofitting have launched to help individuals boost their careers, while ensuring Greater Manchester has a skilled workforce for achieving its carbon neutral ambition by 2038.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) awarded funding to the Growth Company to support people with progressing their careers in the green economy. The Accelerating Net-Zero Opportunities course launched last year, with new fully-funded courses in retrofitting being added to the current green skills courses on offer to people living or working in Greater Manchester.

The innovative training programme is funded through the European Social Fund as part of GMCA’s three-year Skills for Growth programme, which has been created in partnership with employers who have highlighted skills gaps they are struggling to fill.

Those on the course will be taught the basic principles of domestic retrofit as well as skills in improving the energy efficiency measures of older buildings. The training has been designed to support people to take the next step in their careers, while at the same time assisting Greater Manchester’s target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2038, 12 years ahead of the national target.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, GMCA lead for Education, Work, Skills, Apprenticeships and Digital said: “Training and upskilling Greater Manchester’s workforce in retrofitting is the first key step in moving towards a cleaner, greener and low carbon city-region. Thousands of buildings in our city-region will require upgrading with energy efficient measures and this is going to need to be carried out on a mass scale by a skilled workforce.

“We want everybody in the city-region to have the opportunity to upskill into the new roles and this Skills for Growth programme will help create pathways into the industry for an additional 150 people.”

Councillor Martyn Cox, Greater Manchester’s Green City-Region lead, said: “The retrofit sector in Greater Manchester continues to grow, with employers highlighting the need for a workforce trained in skills such as insulation, ventilation and other domestic retrofit skills.

“Skills for Growth is helping with connecting the dots between the city-region achieving carbon neutral status, fulfilling skills gaps and job opportunities, as well as assisting our residents during the fuel crisis to keep costs down through installing cost-effective energy saving methods in their homes.”

The retrofitting training will be carried out at Growth Company’s brand-new Green Skills Academy facility, based in Trafford Park, which has been specially created to educate today’s workforce in green skills and technologies.

Roosevelt Alexander, Director of the Green Skills Academy at The Growth Company Education and Skills, said:These new courses will play a crucial role in plugging the skills gap and ensuring the workforce is prepared for the mass upgrading of Greater Manchester’s buildings and we look forward to welcoming the first cohort of learners to our brand-new Green Skills Academy.  

“Learners will benefit from access to the latest emerging green technologies and techniques, giving them an understanding of how to improve energy efficiency measures and the skills needed to support the Greater Manchester Retrofitting Task Force and establish a future-proof career.”

The Domestic Retrofit course is one week long and is available to employed people who live or work in Greater Manchester. Applicants do not need to be working in the Retrofitting industry, however some basic construction knowledge and experience would be beneficial.

After completing the course, participants will achieve a Level 3 Award in Energy Efficiency Measures for Older and Traditional Buildings.

Back in 2021, the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham launched The Greater Manchester Retrofitting Task Force, to set out a detailed action plan to deliver low-carbon retrofitting across the city-region. Upskilling construction workers was one of the priorities identified by the task force.

Skills for Growth was designed to support employers who have highlighted that they cannot find the technical skills in Greater Manchester required to support and grow their businesses. Since the programme launched in 2020, 11 training providers have been commissioned to deliver a wide range of skills across Digital, Construction, Health and Social Care, Early Years, Allies in Cancer Care, Manufacturing, Logistics, Security, Green Skills, Media, Blue Light Services and other professional training opportunities.

For more information on the Domestic Retrofit Course and to apply please visit Retrofit (

For more information on Skills for Growth and current live training programmes please visit ESF Skills for Growth - Greater Manchester Combined Authority (


Article Published: 28/02/2023 10:29 AM