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Skilled worker shortage delays UK heat pump installations

A major survey of UK heat pump engineers reveals that staff shortages are a significant barrier to meeting installation demand

A recent survey led by Nesta, in partnership with industry experts, highlights significant staff shortages among heat pump engineers in the UK.

The survey, which included responses from 345 installers, found that 30% of respondents identified the difficulty in finding suitable staff as the main obstacle to increasing installations.

This issue was second only to a lack of customer demand, reported by 41% of participants.

Larger heat pump businesses, those with six or more employees, reported even greater challenges, with 41% citing recruitment as their biggest hurdle.

Despite these challenges, many companies are keen to expand, with 81% of firms with six or more staff indicating plans to hire in the next year.

The survey also pointed out the need for improved training for apprentices.

Many smaller businesses expressed low confidence in the current level of training provided to graduates, particularly in practical skills necessary for heat pump installations and general plumbing.

Nesta’s research suggests that around 37,000 installers will be required by 2030 to meet the UK’s net zero targets.

The charity calls for a focus on enhancing college apprenticeship programmes and increasing financial support to stimulate demand and improve practical training for future heat pump installers.

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