Record Number of Retrofitting Enrolments for 2022

Record Number of Retrofitting Enrolments for 2022
17 January 2023
Est. Reading: 3 minutes


Record Number of Retrofitting Enrolments for 2022: There has been a significant progress being made in the number of participants in near-zero energy building (NZEB) and retrofit upskilling and reskilling programmes in 2022.

Following progress in developing a national network of centres of excellence in retrofit skills training, including NZEB skills, the number of workers availing of these opportunities has increased steadily since the first centre was opened in 2020. The numbers have risen:

  • 363 to 793 enrolments in 2021
  • a record 2,034 enrolments in 2022

This reflects an increase of:

  • 118% between 2020 and 2021
  • 156% between 2021 and 2022

Record Number of Retrofitting Enrolments for 2022

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris said:

“I am delighted to see the increased uptake of these important courses. We are on track to having the highly knowledgeable and skilled workers needed to meet workforce needs between now and 2030.


“With the opening of the education and training board (ETB) centres of excellence, the capacity for workers looking to upskill in the area of green skills is there. As demand for retrofit increases there will be significant employment opportunities and I would encourage anyone in the construction trade to get onboard and help us build warmer, more energy efficient homes.


“Last year also saw the establishment of a dedicated Construction and Green Skills Programme Office within SOLAS. Working with ETBs nationally, this office is focused on developing programmes and initiatives to drive forward this reform agenda with a particular focus on the construction sector.

“The government has set an ambitious target to retrofit 500,000 homes by 2030 and the increased numbers enrolling on NZEB courses and establishment of the SOLAS programme office are important steps towards delivering on this target.”


Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan said:

“Last year we met our target to retrofit 27,000 homes. This year we aim to retrofit 37,000 and I have no doubt we will make that target also, and then, those beyond that. The pipeline of interest is huge. People up and down the country are clamouring to make their homes warmer, healthier and cheaper to run.


“The one way we can keep up with this demand is to ensure that we have enough highly skilled people to respond to it. The increased numbers we are seeing committing to these NZEB courses is so encouraging. And while it means that more and more homes can become better houses to live in, it also means that thousands of workers with valuable green skills can be sure that they have work for years, if not decades into the future. Green jobs are also sustainable jobs for the long-term.”


The skills training is provided in a number of further and higher education facilities, including at centres of excellence operated by:

  • Waterford and Wexford ETB
  • Laois and Offaly ETB
  • Limerick and Clare ETB

Courses are also delivered in Cork ETB and Mayo-Sligo-Leitrim ETB, with further provision due later this year and in 2024.

The courses are free, fast and flexible with weekend and evening provision available. In many cases, where a person has an existing construction-related qualification, knowledge or experience, they can learn these skills quickly, usually within three to four days.

Those in the sector interested in upskilling can find out more details by visiting The Right Course .

The National Construction Training Campus in Mount Lucas also provides a 1-day tailored introductory programme for Transition Year and Leaving Cert students, to give them a better understanding of NZEB principles, using a mixture of practical skills and theory.

Retrofitting is both an important economic activity, and critical in meeting Ireland’s climate targets, and the delivery of the Government’s Housing for All plan. Nearly-zero energy buildings have a very high energy performance, with renewable sources as their dominant energy source. Making homes more energy efficient through retrofitting not only makes homes warmer and more comfortable, but can help households save money on bills and help to reach climate goals.

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