A NEW academy for the green energy engineers of the future has been set up by a Barry business.

Energy Renewable Solutions (ERS) has set up the academy aiming to train 400 people a year as demand in the sector soars.

 (ERS) sells and installs solar panels, batteries, air source heat pumps and air conditioning for homes, offices and commercial premises across South Wales, and now the firm is helping to train the next generation of technicians.

 ERS has invested in state-of-the-art training facilities to help tackle what it describes as a ‘desperate’ shortage of the skills to install the renewable energy products.

The ERS Academy , which opens this year, will offer four three-day courses in installation of Solar Panels, Batteries, Air Source Heat Pumps and Air Conditioning, as well as Health and Safety training. All courses are delivered by the team of three fully qualified in-house trainers.

The firm has received the backing of Tata Steel subsidiary UKSE which provided a £100,000 loan to help finance the project.

ERS has recently taken on three staff in addition the present 12, and the business plan predicts this will rise to 40 in three years with a projected turnover of £5 million.

Rhys Williams, CEO of ERS, said he was very grateful to UKSE for their support.

On the announcement, Mr Williams said: “Homeowners and businesses understandably want to make their heating and cooling more efficient, and to take advantage of generous Government grants available.”

 “Demand is strong, yet there is a desperate shortage of skilled installers, and this is why we have established the Academy to help train the workforce needed in coming years as the industry grows and develops.”

Howard Thompson UKSE Regional Executive in Wales said: “We are very pleased to be able to support ERS. The firm already has a strong order book for its work installing energy efficient products, and now the launch of the Academy is a very exciting vision for the future.

 “There is certainly a skills shortage in this area and ERS will provide the very highest levels of training for this work in this growing industry. We wish them every success in this venture.”

Mr Williams added: “We are working with Careers Wales who provide training grants of £1500 to eligible candidates, and we are sure there will be huge demand for places on our programmes. We estimate that we will train around 400 people a year.”