Fifteen young people from across Merseyside have been given the chance to become apprentices with Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT).
They have joined KHT as part of a national pilot project and are being trained to go out into the community giving energy efficiency advice.
Pictured is Terry Jackson (L) and Anthony Jarvis (2nd L) from KHT with apprentices.
The apprentices, aged from 18 to 26, are carrying out home energy audits to make residents aware of the Warm Homes Discount from energy providers and giving advice on how they can save energy in the home – and money on their bills.
“They are really enthusiastic and have picked it up very well. You can see them developing and becoming more confident.
“In these hard times it is more important than ever that we play our part in creating jobs and training and helping households save money on their bills.”
The six-month pilot project, in partnership with Elmfield Training, began in December and is being funded by E.ON through its social obligation fund. It is one of five pilot projects across the country and if successful, could be rolled out wider.
The apprentices have been given customer engagement and energy awareness training and are working with KHT’s energy officers out in the community.
The advice they are giving will help direct fuel-poor households to a range of resources including financial assistance and impartial help lines, and will help lay the foundations for the Government’s Green Deal when it is launched in October.
Any Knowsley resident can take advantage of the free energy audits, not just KHT tenants.
One of the apprentices, Carl Grant, 23, from Kirkby, said: “I hope through this project I can help get people out of fuel poverty by reducing their bills.
“I have become more and more interested in this project as we have gone along and I would now like to train to become an energy assessor.”
Anthony has spearheaded the award-winning Save Energy, Save Money project which has helped hundreds of KHT residents save on their fuel bills since it began in 2009.
“The Green Deal will focus on increasing the energy efficiency of homes with work such as insulation … but for people to get the full benefit of these measures they need to also change the way they use energy in the home. That’s where the work these apprentices are doing will make a difference,” he said.
Elmfield Training is the national partner for the apprentice programme, working with local partners in the five pilot areas. Other local agencies involved in the KHT project are Prescot Oasis, Green Room Café and Centre 63.
Caption: Pictured is Terry Jackson (L) and Anthony Jarvis (2nd L) from KHT with apprentices.