With tens of millions of homes YET to have smart meters installed, utilities and energy skills specialist Develop Training Ltd (DTL) has ramped up its programme to tackle the skills crisis that threatens to derail the rollout.
As DTL reported in its smart metering whitepaper, the government originally required suppliers to install smart meters in the homes of all domestic customers and small businesses by the end of 2020. Even though the government has back-pedalled on that requirement, DTL still expects to see a spike in demand for trained installers through 2018 and beyond.
In response, the training company has created a new smart meter team, and is now delivering specialist courses at its Swindon centre as well as at its headquarters in Derby and bases in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Yorkshire.
The new team comprises qualified lecturers with hands-on experience of smart meter installation, led by Gavin Davies, DTL’s Delivery Manager for Energy. Gavin had ten years’ experience in the domestic gas industry prior to moving into education. He is supported by Nicola Smith, Lee Morgan and David Hudson.
Prior to joining DTL, Nicola spent several years as a smart meter engineer for British Gas after completing a smart meter apprenticeship with the same company in 2013. Lee Morgan, a former military instructor on engineering, health and safety, fire safety and security, brings 30 years’ experience of working with gas (both commercial and domestic), and electricity (telecommunications), to DTL’s Swindon training centre. Lee has been working in smart metering since 2011 and has previous worked for British Gas, SSE, nPower and the MOD.
Completing the DTL smart metering team is David Hudson who, prior to joining DTL, spent two years delivering smart metering apprenticeships for British Gas, having previously worked for two years as a smart meter installer.
Smart meter installers are responsible for the installation, exchange, commission, maintenance and eventual decommissioning of smart meter systems. Many more installers are required nationwide. In most cases, even experienced engineers require upskilling to carry out smart meter installations.
DTL has recognised the UK’s need to bring on more talented engineers to support the smart metering initiative.
DTL offers a variety of smart meter training courses and supporting resources to aid employers in developing a competent, qualified and accredited workforce for the future. These include:
Smart meter upskilling to MOCOPA (for existing gas installers)
Upskilling to gas via Guild of Gas Fitting Operatives (GGFO) Foundation
Upskilling for all installer levels
Trailblazer apprenticeship (for new entrants to the industry)
Mentoring & coaching for smart meter supervisors
City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Smart Metering (for those with some relevant knowledge & skills)*
Companies including Morrison Data Services, Siemens and Energy Assets already use DTL’s training services in this area.
"DTL has been at the forefront of smart meter training for several years and boasts a highly qualified delivery team," said Chris Wall, Sales & Marketing Director, "We are pleased to now offer smart meter training capabilities at our Swindon facility in addition to the state-of-the-art facilities in Linlithgow and Derby, giving DTL coverage UK-wide."