Warmstart: Developing the green skills of the future

01.11.21 | Neil Barnes, Warmworks Communities Manager | Categories: , , ,

We launched Warmstart earlier this year as our key initiative to match young people with training and apprenticeship opportunities through members of our supply chain.

We recognised our position in being able to help find, support and train young people for the green jobs of the future and, working closely with The Wise Group and the UK Government’s Kickstart scheme, we have set about doing just that.

Since we started in April 2021, an amazing 16 Warmstart jobs and placements have been made possible. The majority of these have been Kickstart placements, alongside several full-time posts, a work placement and other positions supported by local authority schemes. We also have a busy pipeline of other positions where recruitment is in progress or placements have been agreed in principle.

Warmstart Stephen Gray holding up his Warmstart box
Warmstart Stephen Gray

Stephen Gray, who was recruited into our Customer Service Team after spotting a Warmstart advert in the Scottish Construction Now news bulletin, was an early beneficiary of the scheme:

I was absolutely delighted with the initiative. I had been seeking a pathway into this industry for close to two years after graduating from university, to no avail. A scheme like this has provided me with an opportunity to kick start a career in a growing sector that I have strived to be part of for many years.

 Jonathan McCafferty, a 19-year-old heating and plumbing trainee supported by the Kickstart scheme with BRB Electrical Ltd in Glasgow also secured a placement through Warmstart:

I have been working on the Warmer Homes Scotland project on gas heating & air source heat pump jobs and also on the BEIS Electrification of Heat project. I am really happy learning about air source heat pumps as I had never heard of this type of heating. I have learned loads so far and I am now confident in bending pipes and basic tasks like hanging radiators.”

Jonathan will go on to a full Modern Apprenticeship through South Lanarkshire College. He joins over 140 other apprentices who have worked with Warmworks on Warmer Homes Scotland and other projects since 2015. Many of those have gone on to longer-term or permanent opportunities, developing the green skills our industry needs to meet the big challenges ahead.

At Dalex Systems Ltd, 16 year-old Kayleigh Taylor from Edinburgh found out about an office role supporting the company to deliver Warmer Homes Scotland through a friend and social media. As the new Office Junior, she will look after much of the vital administration required for each job to run smoothly.

Kayleigh says:

“From day one everyone has been very welcoming and helpful. I have managed to learn things quickly and when in need of assistance there is always someone more than happy to help.”

Warmstart Bud Molontikoff in front of his van, holding a box
Warmstart Bud Molontikoff

Another Warmstart recruit, 20-year-old Bud Molontikoff, is enjoying his heating engineering work placement with South East Heating Services Ltd in Selkirk, supported by Kickstart UK.

Bud is settling in very well after experiencing a period of unemployment. His work placement  includes practical experience of renewable technology.

With a busy placement pipeline in front of us across different disciplines and sub-contractors, we are really looking forward to keeping an eye on all of the new recruits and their journeys through our industry. Warmworks is looking forward to working with our industry partners in the months and years ahead to expand our Warmstart initiative. We’re proud to be playing a part in creating sustainable, green jobs for the future.

It’s massively rewarding to see young people applying their talents, flourishing in our industry and picking up skills for the jobs and trades of the future. It’s so easy to talk about ‘green jobs’ but it’s more important that we see them turned into tangible, real-life opportunities. Warmstart aims to make that a reality as we scale our activities up, and we hope to see many more people benefitting from the scheme in the months and years ahead.

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