Our young apprentice Mike has just started his gas training for which he has to give up his Saturdays every week for 20 weeks, no mean commitment for a young lad I think, so well done to him for making the effort and looking ahead.

On top of his 20 Saturdays he needs to gather evidence of 140 hours of ‘hands on’ gas work on site. Having completed his 20 Saturdays and 140 hours he will then be able to sit assessment training followed by his actual theory and practical assessment  and if passes he will be deemed to be competent and safe to work with gas.

The cost of all this is about £3500 for the initial training then with his assessment costs and loss of income to the business the total cost will be in the region of £5000.

We also have costs to pay out for working with Oil, Solar and Un-vented hot water systems too. On top of this we have to re-assess every 5 years for each discipline at a cost.

We would love to be able to undertake work with ‘renewables’ but with the cost of registering with “Green Deal” and “Micro-generation Certification Scheme” (MCS) the costs are quite prohibitive for a small business like ours. We do have the skill sets for all these renewables as we have done some but it just means we can’t sign off the work ourselves and the customer can’t claim any Government funding.

For Green Deal we would also have to adopt and pay for an internal Quality Assurance Scheme keeping records of each job for many years.

For the Green Deal to be successful there needs to be far less bureaucracy making it more appealing to the many small and experienced installers around.