There’s been a lot of discussion about gas recently as the government talks about its plan to phase out gas supplies to new homes by 2025. You may have also heard about the climate change act due to this news circulating and spreading more knowledge about the gas industry and gas engineers. The role of this act is to set targets to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from the 1990 levels by 2050. A stepping stone towards this is the aim of reducing it by 24% by 2030.
With all this in mind, the CCC (committee on climate change) has made recommendations to cease the installation of natural gas supplies to all new homes built in the UK by 2025 and to completely phase out natural gas supplies by 2050.
So what does all this news mean for Gas Engineering? The simple answer, regardless of what happens, we are still going to need them. However, according to Gas Safe, there is already an existing shortage of gas safe registered engineers in the Uk. 50% of Gas engineers are over the age of 55, which means in the next 10 years all of these engineers could have retired which will only furthermore increase the shortage.
In addition to this, the current developments in regards to energy-efficient boilers, boiler installations, and smart upgrades to heating systems – all of which must be installed by qualified engineers – plus the possible future change over from natural gas to hydrogen, the future is certainly bright for those who are looking for a long term career in the UK gas industry.
Roughly 85% of homes in the Uk are currently relying on gas for heating, which is around 25 million homes, so the scale of the change required is immense, even if the UK had the qualified engineers to start from day one, which is why many are calling for an investment in training to be at the heart of the Government’s planning for a greener future.
To ensure this shortage of engineers isn’t ignored by the government, particularly in a time where major change is upon us, the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) is developing a report which will look into how this shortfall in the registered gas engineer workforce forecast will affect the industry within the next 10 to 15 years. This report is designed to investigate the problems and put forward potential steps to help offset the deficit by increasing the number of new engineers entering the profession.