A state-of-the art centre offering smart meter installer training was unveiled on Tuesday 10 December by Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council.
The training centre, which is located in Newcastle, is expected to create new employment for up to 2000 trained engineers over the next five years and six new jobs initially.
Run by energy services company, Future Energy Solutions Ltd, the centre will be the first of its kind to open in the north east of England. It will offer accredited training to those wishing to become smart meter installers and it is expected that up to 400 candidates will be trained each year.
Smart Meters are a new kind of energy meter which replace existing meters and work by communicating directly with the energy supplier. Smart Meters will ensure that all energy bills will be based on real time reading rather than estimates and customers can track energy usage accurately.
Tim Cantle-Jones, Managing Director of Future Energy Solutions said: “This vocational training is very relevant and important at this time when plans are being put in place by energy suppliers to ensure that smart meters are installed in every house by 2020.
“We are delighted to be opening the centre in Newcastle which will support the training of smart meter engineers from the North East, Yorkshire and Scotland.”
The training centre is being operated in partnership with Nutech Training, which is based in Blackburn and has been delivering training for smart meter installers for the past 18 months.
Neil Turner, Managing Director of Nutech Training said:
“There is still a massive shortage of qualified smart metering engineers needed to support the government’s plans. This agreement with Future Energy Solutions provides an opportunity for the north east to be one of the first areas in the country to see widespread roll out of smart meter installations.”
Attending the opening will be Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council. He said: “I welcome this new business and congratulate them for creating these jobs in Newcastle.
“Energy bills take up so much of a household’s monthly income, so it can only be a good thing if accurate information enables people to better manage their money.
“Smart technology has many different applications and as it becomes more widespread will play an important role in the future of our cities.”