Green skills - trades and construction

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Tool up today with free Green Skills training in trades and construction and boost your future earnings and start building your green reputation today.

Surrey County Council has been awarded funding to support more than 500 local tradespeople with free or part-funded Green Skills training. This is part of the push for Surrey to be a net zero county by 2050.

With the demand for green skills currently outweighing the supply and the government continuing to push for greener solutions, it's a good idea to get involved now.

Our flexible, free, and low-cost courses cover essential subjects such as air source heat pumps , whole-house retrofit, and insulation installation. This is your opportunity to:

  • Future-proof your career
  • Boost your earning potential
  • Become an expert in an upcoming, emerging market
  • Keep your services in high demand

Funded places on green skills courses for all trade and construction professionals are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Whether you're new to the construction and trade industry or an experienced built environment professional, there's a course for everyone.

Most of these courses are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Select the link below relating to the relevant course to apply.

Free courses

The following short introductory courses are available free. They give an over of the key concepts in retrofit, energy efficiency and areas of other sustainable construction. They can all be completed online at any time and at your own pace

This free, two hour course gives you the essential information to understand what retrofit is, learn more about the industry, and grow your knowledge.

Book your place via the retrofit website.

The Innovation South Virtual Campus (ISVC) is an online learning platform with a wide range of free, skills-focused, bite-sized courses, designed to upskill and re-skill employees. It includes a suite of Green Skills' learning programmes, including courses in Carbon Literacy, Domestic Retrofit, Water Conservation Technologies, Sustainable Resource Management and Tree Planting and Climate Change. These courses provide a free initial introduction to these key topics which will help you future-proof your skills and maximise your earning potential in these rapidly-growing sectors.

Book your place via the Innovation South website.

The Retrofit Academy

The courses listed below are available through The Retrofit Academy, as part of the UK's largest drive for energy-efficient installation and retrofit skills through government-funded training.

Courses are available free for those who are unemployed or require an employer contribution starting at £200 + VAT for those in employment.

For more information and to apply for any of these courses visit the Retrofit Academy website.

This course provides a comprehensive and easy to follow introduction to whole-house retrofit. Learners will gain an understanding of what domestic retrofit is, what it is supposed to achieve, what you need to know when working in the industry, and what to look out for when installing energy efficiency measures in homes.

Employer contribution: £210 + VAT

The course is made up of three modules that cover all aspects old older and traditional building retrofit. Each module features extensive teaching materials and activities that are designed to give you an in-depth understanding both in theory and in practice.

Employer contribution: £200 + VAT

The course is made up of nine modules that cover all aspects of retrofit assessment. Each module features extensive learning materials, expert led sessions, case studies and activities that are designed to give you an in-depth understanding of both theory and practice.

Employer contribution: £420 + VAT

The course gives you the knowledge and skills needed to become a Retrofit Coordinator; a crucial new role required by the PAS 2035 standards. It is ideal for built environment professionals looking for a career defining and managing retrofit projects.

Employer contribution: £750 + VAT

East Surrey College

We have worked with East Surrey College to provide high quality training on the installation and maintenance of air source heat pumps and low temperature heating system design.

East Surrey College are also offering training on Insulation and Building Treatments, covering wood preservation, damp-proofing, wall tie replacement and different forms of insulation.

This training has been funded to help heating engineers and construction professions make the transition to installing heat pumps and different forms of building and insulation treatments to meet the high demand for green skilled professionals in Surrey.

For more information or to apply visit the East Surrey College website.

The qualification is aimed primarily at practicing plumbers and heating engineers who already have an understanding of the fundamental requirements of central heating systems and who wish to design and install energy efficient low temperature hot water heating systems that may use heat pumps as the heat source.

This is a nationally recognised qualification in the installation and maintenance of air source heat pump systems. The qualification is recognised by the Micro-generation Certification Scheme (MCS) as an acceptable qualification to join one of their respective schemes. Units covered include:

  • M/650/2406 - Know the requirements to size, select, install, commission and handover heat pump systems (non-refrigerant circuits)
  • R/650/2407 - Plan, prepare, install, commission, and maintain air source and ground source heat pumps (non-refrigerant circuits)

This enables them to issue a certificate of completion to both the householder and water company.

The course is for anyone requiring an understanding of water regulations/water bylaws. In particular those wishing to become approved plumbers/contractors. Successful candidates are encouraged to join an approved plumbers/contractors scheme, such as those managed by SNIPEF, APHC, CIPHE, WIAPS, and the regional water utility companies.

This is a nationally recognised qualification for those working within this specialised area of construction. This qualification is competence-based, candidates must demonstrate the level of competence described in the units. Assessment is the process of measuring a candidate's skill, knowledge and understanding against the standards set in the qualification.

Yuzu Training - Skills Bootcamp

This programme has been developed to enable learners with at least 2-years' experience in either gas, heating, or air conditioning to upskill.

This will enable them to install and maintain air source heat pumps as we move towards a Net Zero greener country. To apply, visit the Yuzu Training website.

Retrofit Skills Centre - South London

There is also a range of training available from providers in the south London region, please see the Retrofit Skills Centre training website.

What are green skills?

'Green skills' is the umbrella term used to describe the technical skills, knowledge, behaviours, and capabilities needed to tackle environmental challenges and unlock the growth opportunities they present."

For the construction industry, this means a switch to using more eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient technologies, and having a workforce familiar with all green construction methods. Finding new ways to reduce our impact on the environment is not just about meeting sustainability goals, it's about making the construction industry a leader in creating a more environmentally friendly future.

The urge to go green is becoming more popular with both trades and consumers - meaning there are more jobs for those with the right skills. According to ElectricalDirect, a quarter of us are now more interested in sustainability than they were a few years ago, and over a fifth of tradespeople have been questioned by potential customers about the environmental impact of their work over the last year.

Hiring for green jobs is showing no signs of slowing down despite the recent downturn in the UK economy. In fact, having one or more 'green skills' can increase your chances of getting hired by 29% (according to a recent report on LinkedIn), meaning green jobs are showing themselves to be a smart way to plug the cost-of-living crisis gaps.

Research from Kingfisher plc, owner of B&Q and Screwfix, found that over half of the tradespeople surveyed had seen an increase in requests for green jobs despite still needing the skills to take on the work.

Green jobs already make up 3.7% of Surrey's economy - a figure that's expected to grow, due to increased demand from businesses and consumers, by 8% annually until 2030.

As momentum in the industry continues to build, upskilling now puts you ahead of the curve by building a green reputation and bank of desirable skills.

By 2050 90% of homes in Surrey are estimated to be using heat pumps. That's the potential for 425,000 houses needing new tech installed to replace the traditional gas heating in Surrey alone. To power this transition, we'll need more than 1200 skilled installers to meet those requirements.

To secure your future career and boost your earning potential, learn the necessary skills for upcoming jobs today.


Green Skills training is designed for anyone to learn the trades needed to power Surrey's future economy, meaning anyone can apply to take part.

For instance, a number of roles such as surveying and air source heat pump maintenance require a high level of customer service, which may make them suitable to those currently working in public-facing roles such as retail, hospitality or property.

The main thing is you have the passion and desire to take your knowledge out into the wider world.

You must live or work in Surrey to apply to a Green Skills course. Other than this, there are no eligibility requirements, though some courses might require you to have certain qualifications or previous experience, which will be detailed on the course information pages linked above.

Those applying for Skills Bootcamp courses must be aged 19+ and can only complete one Bootcamp each financial year.

Cost and funding

Most of the current courses available are free, meaning you can build your green skills without it costing you a penny.

For those that aren't free, if you're unable to fund yourself, you can ask your employer to contribute or find other funding, such as career development loans.

Your chosen training provider may be able to provide further information.

You can sign up for as many courses as you need to. Some restrictions apply to Skills Bootcamps so double check with your training provider if you have any queries.

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