Pathfinder-wide news releases

Rochdale tradesmen equipped for technologies of the future

13 January 2011

More than thirty local tradesmen receiving innovative training to install sustainable ‘green’ technology have taken to the roof of an empty Rochdale property to gain some practical to install solar panels

The training, organised by labour into construction initiative, J21, is run in four one-week courses. It is aimed at plumbers, electricians and other skilled workers who are learning about the most up to date techniques around installing solar hot water systems and photovoltaic panels.

And they are getting out of the classroom and onto the roof of an empty property in Wardleworth to learn in the most practical way. The property is one awaiting demolition as part of the Housing Market Renewal regeneration in Rochdale. Rochdale Council is providing the funding to enable the training to take place.

J21, Rochdale and Oldham’s labour into construction initiative has organised the training, which is being delivered by specialist trainers, PPL. Oldham company GT Scaffolding generously supplied the scaffolding around the house at no charge.

Amongst the local companies whose staff are attending are Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, J&J Harrison and J.C. Mills. Eugene Wilson from RBH said, "Sustainable technologies are likely to become more important in future for us as a landlord. Having staff who are skilled in this area will help us to take advantage, which can only benefit our tenants."

Arthur Cranfield is an electrician who registered his interest in the training through J21. He said, “The standard of the training really is very good. It covers everything we need to know. I’m hoping this will lead to more opportunities in this area of work.”

Alan Ronan is also looking to find work in fitting renewable technologies. “There are lots of companies large and small involved in the industry and this training should help me find a job with one of these employers.”

The training will equip local tradesmen and construction firms with improved skills to help them maintain local employment and take advantage of opportunities in the growing market for sustainable technology.

The trainees learn about the health and safety requirements of working on roofs, but demonstrations and getting practical experience on a real roof gives the training extra quality.

Robert Lynch from J21 said, “To get the best experience we looked for an empty property where the trainees could get a hands-on opportunity to practice installing panels, including all the practical plumbing and electrical skills required.”

“The aim of the training is to equip local employees with the skills needed to take advantage of what increasingly will be a growing market in coming years.”

The course follows earlier training organised by J21 when local employees were given training in the installation of air and ground source heat pumps.

To find out more about the support available from J21, call 01706 646471.

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