UK's first green skills centre takes root in Wales

A green skills centre teaching more than 1,300 people a year to work in green technologies is being set up in the Welsh valleys.

The British Gas Green Skills Centre in Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, announced last week (Wed, July 29), will help the Welsh Assembly Government deliver energy efficiency measures to 40,000 homes.

British Gas said the centre, due to open later this year, will be the UK's first and help boost regeneration in the socially-deprived Heads of the Valleys area.

The firm's managing director, Phil Bentley, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for British Gas to be involved with a unique skills centre which will deliver economic, environmental and social benefits.

"British Gas employs over 1,500 people in south east Wales and our investment here today is a clear indication that we are committed to supporting the communities that we work and operate in.

"We fully support the UK government and the Welsh Assembly Government in the creation of low carbon zones and the new Green Skills Training Centre in the Heads of the Valleys will play a key part in helping to up-skill communities to enable them to take their place in the emerging green economy."

Des Hillman, Blaenau Gwent council leader, added: "Our vision is to transform Blaenau Gwent into a centre for 21st century learning, training and skills.

"This is one of the reasons that the Green Skills Training Centre - a first in Wales and the UK - is joining us as part of our Heads of the Valleys regeneration drive."

Delivering energy efficiency measures to 40,000 homes, including the installation of microgeneration and renewable technologies is part of the assembly government's Heads of the Valleys Low Carbon Programme. This would create the largest Low Carbon Zone of its kind in Europe, it is claimed.

David Gibbs



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