Birmingham Unemployed Given Green Deal Boost

16 May 2013

A Birmingham company is looking to use a Government energy efficiency scheme to put some of the city’s unemployed back to work.

Edgbaston-based Catalyst Mutual Enterprise CIC has opened its doors with the intention of providing the means for unemployed residents to train as Green Deal Advisors.

Under the Green Deal, households across England, Wales and Scotland can apply for upfront capital to make energy efficient home improvements, including Loft Insulation, Solid Wall Insulation, and Cavity Wall Insulation.

The scheme – which is the brainchild of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and is administered by Ofgem – is unique in that any loan offered is repaid over a set period of time through the property’s electricity bill. Under the scheme’s ‘Golden Rule’, the cost of repayment will not exceed the amount saved as a result of the improvement measure being made.

In order to receive financial assistance under the Green Deal, householders must first have an assessment carried out on their property to establish which energy and carbon-saving measures are suitable. An assessment can only be conducted by a qualified and certified Green Deal advisor.

“There aren’t enough people qualified to make the initial property assessments,” explains Adenike Titiloye, Managing Director, Catalyst Mutual Enterprise CIC, in a guest blog on Birmingham City Council’s website.

“Catalyst CIC is currently engaging with public sector organisations to secure training funding to support people who may want to consider a career in Green Deal advice.”

That support will come in the form of DECC-approved training courses which thoroughly cover the Green Deal and its code of practice.

“At the end of their studies, trainees will become qualified Green Deal advisors, capable of around £200-£300 a day as contractors for local companies such as Carillion. They’ll be able to take up flexible and ethical employment helping local people to become more energy efficient.  This is good for the environment and will save local families money on fuel.”

Carillion is an integrated support services company and the exclusive delivery partner of Birmingham City Council’s Birmingham Energy Services (BES) scheme.

The BES scheme is looking to improve energy and carbon efficiency in as many as 60,000 households across Birmingham.

The Green Deal offers a wealth of training and employment opportunities throughout the community,” said Chris Hall, Carillion's Account Director for Birmingham Energy Savers.

“We are dedicated to providing as much help and support as we can to local people, to ensure that these economic benefits remain within the local area.”

According to The Guardian, there were 46,787 people unemployed in Birmingham at the end of April, and 160,278 unemployed across the West Midlands.

If Catalyst Mutual Enterprise has its way, that number will be reduced.

If the Government has its way, the Green Deal will also lead to 250,000 jobs across the UK, including 60,000 in the insulation sector. This includes Green Deal advisors as well as trained installers of Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation, and Solid Wall Insulation.

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