According to Hays, the specialist recruitment company, a drive to reduce carbon emissions on new and existing buildings, in order to meet energy efficiency targets, has led to an increased requirement for qualified individuals with experience and knowledge of sustainability and energy efficiency.
"Employers are keen to bring on board building services professionals with cutting-edge knowledge of new energy efficient and low carbon systems," commented Rebecca Coen, Senior Manager at Hays Building Services.
Low Carbon Consultants (LCC) is one such group of professionals who advise on the design and operation of commercial buildings to meet the highest energy efficiency standards complying with Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) of the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPB). LCCs can subsequently qualify and attain the Low Carbon Energy Assessor (LCEA) grade.
Qualifications in this field have risen in popularity and there are a number of graduate and postgraduate degrees. These qualifications can make a significant difference to those looking for building services jobs, particularly during the current downturn.
"Achieving LCC status not only means that individuals can command better salaries but these specialsts can make a real difference to consultancies and bring in much-needed project work," added Rebecca Coen.
LCC and Part L skills can also be easily transferred from the private to the public sector, where buildings, such as schools, hospitals and libraries of a certain size need to conform to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and have appropriate Display Energy Certificates (DECs). The regulations will affect all buildings and therefore those with low carbon and energy efficient designs will add to the property's value. There is also demand for heating systems engineers with experience of bio-mass and bio-fuel boilers, which are practically carbon neutral. As well as the technical skills and prior experience, consultancies are looking for engineers who can come up with new ways of developing these systems.
"Contractors and consultants are thinking strategically about how they can win business and public sector investment specific for the projects they're tendering for. They're looking for people with MOD, NHS, schools experience - these are great selling points. There is also demand in estates teams within hospitals for electrical, M&E engineers and contracts managers," noted Rebecca Coen.
Chartership and qualifications are now more important than ever and employers are looking for people who can demonstrate a long-term commitment to the building services industry. Employers want people to push their business forward and want to see evidence of the projects they've worked on, their involvement, and importantly where they can add value to their business. Prior experience of innovative examples of the implementation of energy saving technology should always be included when applying for jobs in building services.
A solid Continuing Professional Development (CPD) record is especially important in the current market, "Individuals must pay close attention to their career development. There are many monthly meetings held across the UK by organizations such as the CIBSE, HVCA and the ECA - attendance is free and individuals should take advantage and supplement their CPD," concluded Rebecca Coen.
Note to Editor:
Hays Building Services is part of Hays plc and specialises in a range of building services roles including electrical engineering jobs, sustainability jobs and project management jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group employs 8,294 staff operating from 380 offices in 27 countries across 17 specialisms.
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