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GGP August 2015

10 NEWS Green Deal demise leaves ‘energy efficiency vacuum’ warns FMB Government withdraws Green Deal funding www.ggpmag.com August 2015 Graduates switch to trades for job satisfaction Corporate downsizing and a desire for greater job satisfaction are leading to a rising number of graduates switching to careers as tradesmen and women, according to an annual industry survey. IronmongeryDirect invited 10,000 tradespeople to take part in the annual study and found a 31% increase in the numbers of graduates working across a range of trades such as builders, joiners and shop fitters. The trend suggests that high rates of unemployment and the wave of redundancies following the financial crash in 2008, have pushed more graduates into rethinking their future career options and picking up a trade with many entrepreneurial graduates opting for selfemployment. Edgetech’s John Stark and Andy Jones Edgetech scoops second award The government must set out a clear vision for what will replace the Green Deal following its demise, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The government’s announcement that it will provide no further funding to the Green Deal Finance Company and will also stop any future funding of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is the final nail in the Green Deal’s coffin. “The Green Deal was the greatest flop of the last Parliament – it failed spectacularly in its mission to incentivise millions of house holders to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. However, the government would have been wise to reform, rebrand and relaunch the Green Deal rather than scrap it altogether.” Berry continued: “What’s clear is that the need to improve the energy efficiency of our properties is an increasingly pressing priority but the government is showing very little leadership or ambition. The goal of insulating a million more homes over the next five years is a meagre target when you consider that around five million homes were provided with energy efficiency improvements through various schemes over the past five years. “Although the Green Deal was disappointing in terms of what it achieved, it demonstrated that government was serious about reducing the carbon emissions from our homes. As we get closer to the 2050 carbon reduction target, the government should be increasing investment in this area but instead, ministers have sidelined energy efficiency – filing it under “too difficult and too expensive.” Berry concluded: “The government and industry should not be defeated by the poor results driven through the Green Deal and instead we must learn the lessons and move forward. Investing in our existing homes is the best way to drive up jobs and growth while driving down fuel poverty and carbon emissions. There are lots of measures and incentives which could kick start activity in this area – the government should provide home owners with zero interest loans to make their properties energy efficient. This move could generate more tax revenue for the Treasury than it costs to subsidise, an approach which has worked well in Germany so why not the UK?” The Green Deal has effectively been scrapped after the government announced that there will be no further funding to the Green Deal Finance Company. In an announcement, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd, said: “We are on the side of hardworking families and businesses, which is why we cannot continue to fund the Green Deal. It’s now time for the building industry and consumer groups to work with us to make new policy and build a system that works. Together we can achieve this government’s ambition to make homes warmer and drive down bills for one million more homes by 2020 – and to do so at the best value for money for taxpayers.” In response to the announcement, Nigel Rees, Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) Group chief executive, commented: “This announcement is no surprise to the GGF. During the last government, the GGF constantly worked with DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) on the development of Green Deal and ECO and consistently explained why both programmes would not work for the replacement window industry; this has been proven by the extremely low numbers of glazing measures installations, 223 under Green Deal and 972 under ECO. Combined, these figures do not even make up 0.1% of the total measures installed under the schemes. The GGF now looks forward to working with the current government to ‘make new policy and build a system that works’ as outlined by Amber Rudd. “The GGF believes it is essential to improve the energy efficiency within the existing building stock and people’s lifestyles, as well as reducing carbon emissions. Moving forward, the GGF is keen to work constructively with DECC and will be contacting them to discuss a new proposal from an industry perspective, offering our expertise, suggestions and solutions.” Current government policies, including the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, will reportedly continue to provide support for low-income and ‘vulnerable’ households. Edgetech UK has scooped its second award for manufacturing in the Coventry Telegraph Business Awards within just five weeks of winning Manufacturing Innovation in Made in the Midlands. Since 2007, Edgetech has manufactured Super Spacer from its Coventry base and supports customers who manufacture over 30,000 insulated glass units per working day in the UK. “Being recognised for manufacturing excellence in our home city is a fantastic accolade for the production team at Edgetech,” said John Stark, Edgetech’s works manager who collected the award at the ceremony at the Ricoh Arena. Brian Berry Nigel Rees


GGP August 2015
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