In order to achieve our ambitious national retrofit targets over the next 10 years, it is essential that we develop the supply chain and ensure that we have the required number of appropriately skilled workers. For that reason, "supply chain, skills and standards" is one of the four pillars of the forthcoming National Residential Retrofit Plan. Officials from my Department have been engaging with the relevant Departments in that regard. This engagement has included working with the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment and other key stakeholders through the Expert Group for Future Skills Needs. The Expert Group will shortly publish an important new report which analyses the Irish labour market and identifies the nature and quantifies the scale of the skills needed to support the transition to a low carbon economy including retrofit. It will also present recommendations on measures to build up the supply of skills required.
My officials have also been engaging with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science which is responsible for policy, funding and governance of the higher and further education sectors. As part of Budget 2022, Minister Harris’s Department has provided €22 million for the Green Skills Action programme. The Programme includes a focus on provision in Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB) and Retrofitting as well as the development of new modules in green skills. €17 million of the Budget provision relates to the Retrofit and NZEB expansion and will provide for an additional 2,650 places, bringing the total number of places to 4,550 by the end of 2022. NZEB and retrofit programmes are provided in Waterford Wexford ETB, Laois Offaly ETB and Mount Lucas National Construction Training Centre with work ongoing to establish a further three centres of excellence in Cork, Limerick/Clare and Mayo/Sligo/Leitrim ETBs.