Growth in the European Heat Pump Market Increases Demand for Upskilling a Diverse WorkforceShare open/close
As Europe’s energy landscape shifts, Samsung Electronics’ heat pump offerings continue to innovate the way European homes can be heated. The heat pump market is rapidly growing: The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported an 11% global increase in heat pump sales between 2021 and 2022, specifically in Europe, with a 49% growth in air-to-water heat pump sales.1
This is in part a reaction to the energy crunch across Europe, increasing the urgency to find an alternative to fossil fuel boilers, as well as government decarbonization targets and a population more and more conscious of their impact on the environment. According to a recent study by the IEA, heat pumps could reduce CO2 emissions by half a billion tons by 2030 as they replace fossil fuel boilers.2
For example, the heating sector accounts for almost one-third of the U.K.’s annual carbon footprint. The U.K. government has laid out a clear decarbonization plan which includes the goal of installing 600,000 heat pumps by 2028.
To support this growth, the sector needs to accelerate progress to shift perceptions towards a low-carbon heating and increase the rate of installations. However, there is currently a shortage of trained technicians to cope with this increase in demand. Recent U.K. government announcements to support heat pump training are a positive sign in an industry growing rapidly month on month, however, more progress is needed. There is an urgent need to create a larger, more diverse workforce. Women, for example, represent just 2% of the heating industry in the U.K.3
Samsung Climate Solutions UK has been working to shine a light on how the women within the Climate Solutions team and beyond are driving forward business growth and industry change. Aimee Holloran recently joined the Samsung Climate Solutions team as Business Development Manager for heat pumps. She began her path with a plumbing apprenticeship, receiving National Vocational Qualifications (Levels 2 and 3) and winning BBC Young Plumber of the Year in 2010. After this, she transitioned into sales development and found her true passion in low-carbon heating.
When speaking on her experience in the heating industry, Holloran said, “In my time on the tools, I’d often get asked if I could lift a boiler or do what the men on my course or team could. Of course, I can, but a lot of the job is down to technique, not pure strength, and anybody can learn that.”
“It’s a wonderful industry for anyone to get involved in and this isn’t restricted to women,” she continued. “As the renewable and low-carbon industry grows, there are huge growth opportunities for women looking for a purpose in their job. One of my biggest satisfactions is delivering training presentations and sales pitches to convert people to this low-carbon technology.”
Likewise, Leah Robson, the Managing Director of Your Energy Your Way, a not-for-profit renewable and heat pump installation company, has worked with Samsung for over 10 years. Her story is unique, as she originally trained in IT before switching to renewable and low-carbon heating installation after having children, pursuing her desire to make a difference in mitigating climate change. She now works to encourage others, specifically women, to do the same.
“I set up Your Energy Your Way in 2018 specifically to bring more women into the industry,” Robson said. “Since then, the business has grown organically, with turnover trebling since its foundation, and increasing demand for our services installing and integrating Heat Pumps, Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Batteries and EV charging.”
“In the last year, our workforce has expanded to seven yet our ability to meet the demand for renewable energy and low-carbon heating solutions is still constrained by its size,” she continued. “As part of this, we are working to establish a female traineeship scheme to support the training and development of the next wave of technicians. It’s a really rewarding job where you work with great, passionate people dedicated to changing the way we heat our homes.”
To navigate the energy crunch across Europe, Samsung is determined to empower women with skills to become technicians in the heat pump industry and support organizations such as Your Energy Your Way.