A model for the future by The Energy Training Academy

Published: 27 June 2024

Midlothian Science Zone Business Forum visited the new community-focussed Energy Training Academy in Eskbank to learn about this amazing training facility, empowering a sustainable future through renewable energy education and showcasing a Net Zero Home.

On Tuesday 18th June, Midlothian Science Zone Business Forum guests gathered at the new Energy Training Academy, in Eskbank. Midlothian for business networking with businesses, partners and members of Mid and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce. 

Midlothian Council has been a supporter of this project from inception and guests were welcomed and introduced by Robbie Broomfield, Growth Advisor with Business Gateway Midlothian.

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Andrew Lamond, Director of the Energy Training Academy, provided a fascinating and insightful presentation on the background, achievements and the vision of this community interest company and unique training facility, which provides high quality training and education in the gas and renewables industry for entry level through to advanced courses for professionals.

Andrew highlighted that the learning courses utilise an individual’s transferrable skills, transitioning participants into a potential new career in the energy sector. As part of the training programme, they partner candidates with industry placements to further develop skills and in many cases leading to full time employment.

The training facilities within the Energy Training Academy are also used by established energy companies to train their employees to the professional standard as required by industry regulations.

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Hands on training areas also replicate products used in the industry which can be stripped down and reconstructed for learning purposes without being connected to water or gas - within 10 weeks, new engineers are taught how to install a gas boiler in situ. 

Vattenfall, a European energy company that has been in the UK for more than 15 years are a key partner in enabling the UK to reach net zero and Vattenfall UK/Edinburgh has funded an area for events and education which is under construction.

Andrew explained that a virtual tour video, coupled with school visits, they are encouraging the next generation of engineers. This preparation for the future is an important one with the demand and awareness for sustainable products and services increasing, whilst the current experienced workforce is predominantly over 50 years old.

Our tour included a walk around the Net Zero Home, purpose built within the Energy Training Academy, and the only one in Scotland. This was a highlight for attendees and provided a glimpse into the potential for new build homes as well as how elements could be implemented into residential and commercial properties, with cutting-edge heat pumps and solar panels to generate electricity, and other technologies such as infra red heating.

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We also learned of methods for recycling waste shower water to reheat cold water and other technologies such as smart radiators, and appliances including a fridge which listed items inside and their use by dates and an intelligent washing machine that applies the correct temperature and amount of detergent required.

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Overall, the visit provided us with insight as to how we can live more sustainably and provoked interesting comments and discussion about how this is transferrable to our own homes, business premises and community initiatives. It also outlined the energy funding differences between Scotland and England and hope to make this easier to access.

The Energy Training Academy are making an immense effort to drive forward the training of the next generation for the future of energy and sustainability, with the profits generated reinvested back into their training programmes.

They are also supportive within the local community and talked of one example, working with Lasswade Rugby Club to reduce their energy costs with the installation of solar panels - which not only would cover energy costs it would allow the Club to open for longer hours and host additional community activities.

For anyone interested in learning more about the Energy Training Academy, the training facilities, the courses they offer or development of sustainable energy alternatives within Midlothian, please contact Andrew Lamond, Director Sales & Business Development.


If you missed this MSZ Business Forum and want to find out more about research, expertise or business support 'in the zone', please email Emma McCallum, MSZ Project Coordinator. 

The purpose of MSZ Business Forum is to create an opportunity for discussion, collaboration and awareness of other businesses 'in the zone'. 

Our next event will be our annual MSZ BBQ in August, for partners and tenants 'in the zone' and Midlothian Science Zone Community Card holders.

To be kept informed of forthcoming events or opportunities for collaboration, please contact Emma McCallum, Project Coordinator. 

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