For support call: 0330 100 3143
Return to homeowner

Vaillant launches pioneering heat pump training in parliament

Mark Wilkins, Barroness Parminter, Alan Whitehead & Henrik Juhl Hansen

Parliamentarians and experts from across the heating industry gathered in the Cholmondeley Room at the House of Lords on 24 April, to explore the findings of Vaillant’s installer survey report looking into attitudes towards heat pump training, and for the launch of Vaillant Aspire, the new learning pathway designed to upskill heating engineers to fit heat pumps.

The event - Aspiring to a Green Future - was hosted by Baroness Parminter, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, who was joined by key speakers Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Lord Callanan and Vaillant’s Director of Technologies and Training, Mark Wilkins.

In her opening remarks, Baroness Parminter highlighted the House of Lords recent review of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) which found that a lack of heat pump installers remains a key barrier to the uptake of low carbon technology in the UK. Referring to the launch of Aspire as a ‘positive step forward’ in tackling this issue, the Baroness also voiced that she was ‘delighted’ to support Vaillant’s work in this area, including Vaillant’s recent survey of installers to better understand their attitudes on upskilling to fit heat pumps.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Net Zero, Dr Alan Whitehead, also welcomed the launch of Aspire as a robust response to the challenges in rolling out heat pumps in the UK. Making it clear that the UK needs to be committed to supporting the deployment of heat pumps in the short and medium term, he stated that heat pumps are ‘crucial’ to the decarbonisation of domestic heating.

Dr Whitehead also outlined Labour’s position on heat pumps, commenting that supporting homeowners with insulation and fabric efficiencies was a top priority through its comprehensive Home Retrofit Programme. With an aim of making 19 million UK homes more energy efficient, the programme would provide support for ‘whole home treatment’ to prepare domestic housing for low carbon heating systems.

He said: “Making heat pumps core to the net zero agenda was an important first step, however we now need to look at what the key blockers to progress are. This includes the lack of qualified installers available to install them; the cost of heat pumps which is something we can look to address through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme; and finally, availability of the product itself. The scaling-up of heat pump production here in the UK is vital to ensuring security of supply and meeting domestic demand.

“I’m therefore delighted to be here today, as Vaillant is helping to address all these challenges through its new heat pump production line in Belper, to the launch of this bespoke learning pathway to support the upskilling and reskilling of traditional gas boiler installers. What innovative businesses, such as Vaillant, need now is clear direction and a partnership-based approach from Government. The low carbon heating sector presents enormous opportunities for the future, and we must ensure this potential is fulfilled.”

Mark Wilkins, Vaillant’s Technologies, and Training Director presented the key findings of Vaillant’s recent installer survey, which helped to develop the Aspire learning pathway.

Vaillant surveyed more than 1,100 installers to get a deeper understanding of their barriers and motivators behind reskilling to install heat pumps. Encouragingly, the majority of those who took part in the survey recognised a need to train, with 87% of installers answering ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ when asked if they were interested in undertaking air source heat pump training in the next 12 months.

The top three motivators of these installers looking to undertake heat pump training were future-proofing their business or career development, the benefits for the environment by supporting the net zero agenda, and personal financial benefits from installing a diverse range of heating technologies.

Mark commented: “It’s clear that the target of installing 600K heat pumps by 2028 will be a significant challenge, and part of that challenge is building a community of expert installers. Vaillant estimates that to achieve this target we would need 40,000 installers working full-time on heat pumps only. However, as most installers will also still be servicing and maintaining gas boilers at least in the short to medium term, Vaillant estimates up to 100K installers will need to be trained to meet the 600K heat pump target. The launch of Aspire will be a significant step in achieving this goal, to ensure that consumers can find appropriately skilled installers for heat pump installations, as well as traditional heating systems.

“Vaillant’s Installer Survey: Aspiring to a Green Future revealed one of the biggest barriers to undertaking heat pump training was a lack of support from Government. This was prior to the launch of the Heat Training Grant, which Vaillant is delighted to be supporting in order to provide our installers with £500 towards heat pump training. I’m also incredibly pleased that we were able to hold this event in Parliament with messages of support from Government Ministers, and positive feedback about our new Aspire training offer.”

Mark Wilkins, Henrik Julh Hansen & Philip Dunne MP

Out of the 994 installers surveyed by Vaillant who expressed an interest in upskilling, 55% felt that they would prefer ‘entirely in-person training’ when it came to air source heat pumps, whilst ‘a combination of in-person and online’ was preferred by 40% of those surveyed.

Mark added: “Aspire is a pioneering learning pathway that is bespoke to each individual and their current skill set, with a mix of online and face-to-face modules held in one of our six Centres of Excellence. We are also working with higher-learning facilities across the UK to upskill college lecturers, as this ensures that the next generation of heating engineers receive relevant training reflective of this new, low carbon landscape. It’s important that we recognise NAPIT and MCS too, for supporting this Aspire pathway with accreditation – fundamental for installers when they are putting their heat pump training into practice.”

Guests were treated to a House of Lords afternoon tea, whilst Lord Callanan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance) gave the closing remarks.

He said: “We want to see the rollout of heat pumps across the country to provide greener alternatives to costly fossil fuels for homes and businesses, with a target of 600,000 installations by 2028. Boosting our skilled workforce is essential to meeting this target – and that’s why we’re investing millions to support 10,000 trainees become low carbon heating experts over the next two years.

“I welcome the launch of the Vaillant Aspire learning pathway which will see more engineers upskill to deliver vital heat pump installations, and I look forward to continuing our work with Vaillant to help reach our net zero goal.”

For more information on Vaillant’s Installer Survey, and to download the full report on the findings, please visit:

For more information on Aspire visit: