Funded through Jersey Government’s Retrain initiative, Highlands College has launched a net zero training facility. The provision is designed to ensure the college is equipped to satisfy the demand for training and assessment for the technologies needed to match Government ambitions linked to the Carbon Neutral Roadmap.
The facility, developed in partnership and under the expert guidance of GTEC, provides the resources required to train and assess candidates in the installation of a range of technologies, including Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) – expected to be one of the lead alternatives to fossil fuel heating.
Prior to the opening of this provision, operatives could only gain the required qualifications by travelling off- island. On-island training and assessment enable more local operatives to upskill by reducing the barriers to accessing the training required to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Jersey’s transition away from gas and oil. Furthermore, future apprentices in the building services sector will now have the opportunity to work on the latest low carbon heating solutions.
These courses, as well as others that are in the development phase, also align with the Government initiative to develop The Contractor Quality Scheme (CQS); a Jersey-specific quality assurance scheme to approve contractors wishing to carry out government-funded work as part of the new low carbon heating incentive.
Tony Tyrer, Assistant Principal – Planning and Skills at Highlands College, said: “Highlands College plays a crucial role in the training and upskilling of Islanders, it is therefore imperative that as a college we are responsive to the needs of the island.
“The Government plans to bring into force legislation that updates current building regulations and sets increased energy efficiency and carbon emission standards, and prohibits new fossil fuel boilers being installed in any property after 1st January 2026. We need to be training the workforce of the future now.”
Griff Thomas, MD of GTEC Training , said: “We have been delighted to help setup and deliver training in partnership with Highlands College, there are some ambitious targets in Jersey for carbon reduction and this has to be underpinned by ensuring that installers have access to the high quality training that they need, without having to leave the island.”
During the official launch, where Minister for the Economy, Kirsten Morel, and Minster for Education, Inna Gardiner attended the centre, Griff introduced the Heatly app, which has been designed to make heat pump specification and installation easier by digitizing and simplifying processes such as heat loss calculations and site survey. Heatly, which is currently under-development, is being made available to students at Highlands College to enhance their learning, while providing usability testing for the app. Griff is part of the development team behind Heatly.
Jo Terry-Marchant, Principal of Highlands College, said: “We are in continuous consultation with employers, industry leads, partners and the Government of Jersey, not just in construction but across all curriculum areas. This collaborative approach enables us to ensure that our courses offer the latest in best practice and are future ready. Our mission is to transform lives through lifelong learning.”