100 jobs on offer in Stoke solar project

100 jobs in StokeStoke-on-Trent City Council and its partners E.ON and Kier Stoke, are to employ 100 people across the city to install new solar panels on up to 4,000 council properties.

At the beginning of August, E.ON and Kier started work on the Council’s project to introduce solar panels to 4,000 homes in its social housing stock as a way of reducing energy bills for tenants and making a contribution to renewable energy generation.

As part of the project, Kier is looking to recruit up to 100 employees to assist with the installation. The roles which are available include roofers, electricians, stores men, delivery drivers, scaffolders, customer liaison officers and team leaders. The training will be “on the job” and also help existing tradesmen learn new skills.

The aim is to open up future employment opportunities to people based in the city, by widening their experience and skills so they can take on a greater number of jobs.

The city council’s JET (Jobs, Enterprise and Training) scheme will help people enrol on the scheme and train for the jobs that they will need to do. Around 70 people, as well as 14 trainees, plus an estimated support team of 15 will be taken on. If you are interested then ring 01782 231215 or look at the JETS website jet2work.org.uk

Councillor Mark Meredith, cabinet member for economic development, said: “This project gives a local workforce the chance to learn new skills and take part in one of the most exciting innovative projects the city has to offer.

“What we want to do, is train people with existing skills to broaden their experience – for example, electricians who have no experience of working at heights will be trained to do so as the panels are installed on the property’s roof.

“It’s about making sure people who have a certain set of skills can increase that breadth of knowledge and increases their chances of employment in the future.”

The city council signed a £4m agreement with energy provider E.ON last year to put the panels on city council and privately-owned houses. As well as the panels, houses in Northwood, Birches Head and Middleport, have also been given external wall insulation and other energy saving measures.

Councillor Gwen Hassall, cabinet member for housing and neighbourhoods, added: “The solar panels we have installed so far have been well received by residents and are part of a larger plan to increase fuel efficiency in the city and ensure we are less and less reliant on fossil fuels.

“We have a strong commitment to using sustainable energies as part of our Mandate for Change policy, to make Stoke-on-Trent the place to bring business. Reducing fuel bills not only boosts the existing local economy, but encourages people to come to Stoke-on-Trent if they feel they will be benefitting from this scheme.”

Kier managing director for maintenance, Peter Brynes, said: “Kier is committed to identifying and delivering energy saving solutions for our customers’ commercial and domestic needs through green energy generation.

“Our existing important relationship with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and E.ON enables us to understand the needs of our customer base and tailor our service to their requirements ensuring they gain maximum benefits from available renewable technology funding.

“We’re developing a local delivery programme in Stoke which will become a model in other communities where we will have our own workforce and develop a local supply chain, and due to the depth of knowledge and expertise within Kier, we are uniquely positioned to design, install and maintain renewable energy solutions for the lifetime of the product