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Launch of Panasonic heat pump training partnership

Image from panasonic launch event featuring students

Glasgow Clyde College has announced a new partnership with Panasonic, Dumfries and Galloway College and UHI Inverness, to upskill the next generation of heating and plumbing installers with relevant heat pump training. This initiative aims to help decarbonise heating and future-proof homes across Scotland.

The official launch event took place at the Skills Centre at Glasgow Clyde College on 29 May. Key representatives from ESP, Panasonic as well as the college partners were present to launch this new and exciting partnership officially.

Glasgow Clyde College, Dumfries and Galloway College and UHI Inverness offer BPEC accredited heat pump courses. In addition to these courses, leading heat pump manufacturer Panasonic will provide additional product-specific air-to-water training for the trainers, apprentices and installers working with these three colleges. The product training will use the latest Panasonic Aquarea L Series outdoor unit, All-in-One indoor unit, and Wiser controls, providing students hands-on experience with some of the industry’s latest sustainable heating solutions. 

Designed to address the skills shortage in the Scottish region by increasing training opportunities and enhancing employability, Panasonic is not only helping today's workforce but also aims to bolster future Scottish installers and apprentices by providing this additional air-to-water heat pump training.

Working with Panasonic and the colleges to get this project off the ground, the college sector agency, ESP (Energy Skills Partnership) has helped create this partnership in a collective effort to meet net zero requirements and target the current skills shortage crisis in Scotland aligned with emerging technologies.

Jim Brown, Director at ESP, said, “ESP is delighted to work with Panasonic and our college members to establish a partnership to deliver a sustainable future through training in renewable solutions. This will establish partner colleges as centres of excellence for upskilling industry and enhancing Modern Apprenticeship programmes.”

Jennifer Brickwood, Assistant Principal for the Faculty of Future Technologies and Design at Glasgow Clyde College, commented, “We’re dedicated to equipping our students with the essential skills to meet the challenge of achieving net zero. Together, we're shaping future professionals to drive sustainability forward, creating a brighter, greener tomorrow.”

Joanna Campbell, Principal of Dumfries and Galloway College added, "Dumfries and Galloway College are delighted to be working in conjunction with Panasonic to install a new Panasonic air source heat pump (ASHP) system in our Green Energy Centre. ASHPs are the leading technology in decarbonising the heating requirements of the housing sector, and the demand for heating professionals with the appropriate skills is substantial. Working alongside Panasonic, we are proud to be a leading provider of net zero skills in Scotland.”

As Scotland develops its decarbonisation plan, Panasonic sees the importance of upskilling installers through air-to-water heat pump training. Jose Alves, UK Country Manager for Panasonic Heating & Cooling Solutions, added, “Interest in heat pumps has never been higher – and there has to be an expansion of the skilled installer base for the net zero and decarbonisation of home heating to be met. We are pleased to work with these three colleges, thanks to ESP. There has never been a better time to get trained, with the availability of government training grants plus this additional reward from Panasonic. The sooner installers, fitters and gas boiler engineers get trained, the quicker they can take advantage of these market opportunities.”

Iain King, Curriculum Leader of Construction and Engineering at UHI Inverness, said, “In this dynamic time of moving towards green-based heating, UHI Inverness is currently updating our renewables centre to allow us to upskill existing practitioners and train apprentices in the emerging technologies required to achieve net zero carbon emissions. Our partnership with Panasonic will provide valuable access to these technologies, ensuring that our services remain at the forefront of the industry, advancing standards and sustainability, and creating a new generation of qualified practitioners.”

With the increasing availability and affordability of air-source heat pump technology, now is the time for engineers to explore this alternative and capitalise on the growing demand for eco-friendly heating solutions. By embracing air-source heat pumps, engineers can position themselves as industry leaders and contribute to a greener, more sustainable future for all.