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Unveiling EBSSA: The Skills Authority Powerhouse Pioneering The Green Skills Revolution - Are you Ready?


James Gooch

November 07th 2023

5 min read

The Skills Gap Challenge: A Looming Crisis

In a world undergoing a profound shift towards sustainability and environmental awareness, the Engineering and Building Services Skills Authority (EBSSA) emerges as a powerhouse, poised to tackle the pressing green-skills crisis head-on. This mission could be vital in helping construction and engineering workers, and building and installation firms to get ready to take advantage.

The urgency of EBSSA's mission cannot be overstated. Helen Yeulet, chair of Actuate UK’s skills group and director of training and skills at the British Engineering Services Association, succinctly encapsulates the situation: "Everyone recognizes we have a skills gap that will become even more acute as the transition to net zero accelerates." As the global community accelerates its pursuit of net-zero emissions, the demand for skilled professionals in engineering and building services has reached unprecedented levels. The skills gap poses a critical challenge that EBSSA is committed to addressing.

This coalition of major installer bodies represents a monumental step forward in the engineering and building services industry, combining the strengths of key players like Actuate UK, BEAMA, and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering. In this comprehensive article, we will take a deep dive into EBSSA's mission, its immense significance, and how it plans to spearhead the energy transition. Let's embark on a journey to explore the future of green skills and competence in the engineering and building services sector.

Uniting Industry Pioneers: EBSSA's Genesis

EBSSA stands as a testament to the power of collaboration. This coalition unites a constellation of influential entities, bringing together decades of experience, expertise, and innovation. With member organisations such as Actuate UK, BEAMA, and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering joining forces, EBSSA signifies not just a merger of organisations but a merger of vision and purpose. This collective strength promises to shape the industry's future in profound ways.

A Vision for a Sustainable Future

EBSSA is not merely a coalition; it is a visionary think tank with a clear and ambitious mission. At its core, EBSSA aims to develop a comprehensive action plan to fortify the engineering and building services workforce. This plan is strategically designed to confront the multifaceted challenges posed by decarbonised engineering systems. With the industry's combined intelligence and understanding, EBSSA is poised to offer robust solutions to policymakers and the broader industry.

Political Advocacy: Shaping Policies for Change

EBSSA's commitment extends beyond industry transformation; it extends into the realm of politics. One of its bold initiatives is to actively lobby political parties in the lead-up to the next general election. This strategic move seeks to ensure that green skills in engineering and building services remain a top priority on the government's agenda. As the world watches, EBSSA is positioning itself to influence key decisions that will profoundly shape the future of the industry.

Shared Leadership: A Testament to Inclusivity

In a departure from traditional leadership models, EBSSA adopts a refreshing approach. Member bodies within EBSSA are expected to rotate the chairmanship, fostering an environment of inclusivity and shared leadership. This innovative approach ensures that diverse perspectives continue to guide EBSSA's initiatives. While the announcement of the first chairperson is eagerly awaited, the commitment to collaborative leadership is already evident.

Bridging Competency Gaps

Andrew Eldred, the Electrical Contractors' Association’s director of workforce and public affairs, aptly highlights the significance of addressing competency alongside net-zero delivery. Engineering and building services account for a staggering 40% of all construction starts and 20% of the workforce. Yet, there exists a conspicuous gap when advocating for the necessary training and qualifications in these areas. EBSSA is set to bridge this gap effectively, ensuring that the industry is equipped with skilled professionals capable of driving decarbonisation.

Holistic Decarbonisation: A Comprehensive Approach

Marion Marsland, chief executive of one of the non-Actuate members of EBSSA, underscores the priority placed on the building-services sector. The aim is to maximise the number of competent professionals ready and able to work on the decarbonization of the UK across all building types, including new and retrofit, domestic, commercial, and industrial. EBSSA's vision extends beyond specific niches; it is a comprehensive approach to transforming the entire industry.

Parallel Drive for Net-Zero

In tandem with the global drive for net-zero emissions, tier-one contractors and other firms have launched the National Home Decarbonisation Group. This additional group, comprising 17 founding members, focuses on scaling up residential retrofits to meet net-zero targets. It plays a complementary role in the broader initiative to drive sustainability in the construction sector, working hand-in-hand with EBSSA.

EBSSA's Diverse Membership

EBSSA's membership roster is a testament to its inclusive approach, reflecting its commitment to diversity and representation. Notable members include:

Actuate UK Members Joining EBSSA:

  • Building Engineering Services Association
  • Testing and research body BSRIA
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
  • Electrical Contractors’ Association
  • Federation of Environmental Trade Associations
  • Lift and Escalator Industry Association

Non-Actuate UK Members Joining EBSSA:

  • Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering
  • Energy infrastructure technologies trade association BEAMA
  • Low-carbon products and installations certification body MCS
  • Thermal Insulation Contractors Association

A Green Revolution

EBSSA is not just another coalition; it's a beacon of hope and change in the realm of engineering and building services. Its mission to address the green-skills crisis and accelerate the transition to a sustainable future is nothing short of commendable. As the industry stands on the precipice of transformation, EBSSA stands ready, armed with collaboration, vision, and a commitment to building a competent and skilled workforce that will drive the decarbonisation of engineering systems in the UK. This is not just a coalition; it's a revolution. Join us on this journey towards a greener, more sustainable future.

With a united front and a clear vision, EBSSA is set to transform the industry, and its journey has only just begun. Stay tuned for updates on the green-skills revolution.

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