Mark Glasgow, owner of the Edinburgh Boiler Company, plans to invest £3 million into a series of energy training centres around Scotland to improve the industry’s skills shortage in the country.
Construction is already underway on the first Energy Training Academy in Edinburgh, with further sites earmarked for Glasgow and the north-east of Scotland.
The first facility is due to be completed in November and will be located in the firm’s new headquarters in the city, rapid growth having seen the business locate to a new base four times the size of its previous home at 4000 square feet.
“This is a vision I have had for some time and given the speed at which our industry is changing towards more sustainable heating technologies, I felt now was the time to really push my plans forward,” said Mr Glasgow.
“The next few years are going to be critical in our industry. The skills shortage we are currently facing as an industry is concerning and I thought it important to provide a modern training centre with a focus on renewables.
“Initially this will be in Edinburgh and the plan is to then extend that education offering around Scotland by establishing regional training centres.
“We have recently added heat pumps to our list of installation services and more developments are in the pipeline. The academy will be used by engineers looking to upskill to renewables and to give our current installation and repair staff a place to learn ‘in-house’ as we look to continue leading the way in home heating in Scotland.
“There will also be adult learning programmes, which will be ideal for the gas and renewable engineer of tomorrow who is looking to get into this growing sector.
“We will have a range of courses focusing on renewables, and we will be using some of the best lecturers and trainers in the business. We will be a one-stop shop for theory and practical allowing new starts to train at our academy and then do the all-important on-site portfolio work in the company of our experienced engineers.”
The Edinburgh Boiler Company was established in 2015 and is reported to be the city’s largest boiler installer.
“The significant investment we are putting into the Energy Training Academy underlines our commitment to providing not only the best possible training for our employees but the best service to our customers,” said Mr Glasgow.
“It’s been quite the journey since we started out in the autumn of 2015. We had outgrown the offices we had been in since 2018 and moving premises gives us a good foundation to expand into the other areas we are focusing on, particularly the training academy and renewables.
“We can now grow into this space, which is ideal for the business plan going forward. It’s been a dream to have a larger facility like this and it is exciting for the business as a whole. The staff love it and are able to streamline a lot of processes which helps us further improve our customer service with increased efficiency.”
The company has grown from eight employees in 2015 to 30 full-time members of staff, and the new base has allowed a further recruitment drive to commence.
“We are now able to look at taking on apprentices both for the office and out in the field,” said Mr Glasgow. “We are actively recruiting at the moment and the on-site training academy will allow us to fast-track the development of not only any new staff but also our existing employees.
“The larger space will also allow us to implement inventory and stock control, helping us to do jobs more quickly such as same-day boiler installations and repairs.
“Reducing our carbon footprint is a key element of our plans going forward and we are exploring a number of ways to make that happen.”