New East Anglia Energy Academy opens in Cambridgeshire

15 May 2024

Last year, The Trade Skills Index warned of a “catastrophic” and increasing skills shortage impacting the UK’s trades and construction sector.

According to the report, an estimated 937,000 qualified new tradespeople need to be introduced into the sector by 2033 to plug the void already exacerbated by dwindling apprenticeship interest, an ageing workforce, and a recent exodus of EU workers.

With trade vacancies now at a record high, the need for a new, dedicated trade skills training academy has never been more important.

The East Anglia Energy Academy – which opens its doors on 16 May 2024 - is the latest offering from Reed Environment and our partners OEA, a leading provider of energy training courses. It aims to attract more young people onto the trades skills career path and encourage established tradespeople to upskill with a focus on renewable energy.

Located in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, the new skills centre is offering a wide range of training courses, assessments, and qualifications across gas, electrical, plumbing, oil, and renewable energy skills. The state-of-the-art, fully equipped academy will play a key role in our ambition to create an essential, specifically trained green workforce to help the UK meet its Net Zero targets.

“OEA’s reputation, experience and expertise makes them the perfect partner to be working with. We are delighted to be helping them scale while addressing the escalating skills shortage to create the next generation of talented and environmentally aware electricians and plumbers.”

Tom Hoines Energy Services Director for Reed Environment

OEA is already recognised for providing accreditation to existing trade workers, from the original academy in Oxford. Dave Bendell, Founder of OEA, added: “The industry urgently needs a pipeline of new and accredited talent if it is to keep up with demand. OEA is working to address this and promote the need for green skills, and to be supporting businesses locally.

“Our Energy Academies are accredited end-point assessment centres which means that learning and assessment can be completed in the same place. To date, we have obtained a 100% success rate regarding end-point assessments and are thrilled to now be bringing Electrical Apprenticeships to the East of England. We are taking bookings for the first entrants in September 2024.”

Cllr Sam Wakeford, Executive Councillor for Jobs, Economy, and Housing at Huntingdonshire District Council said: “We have worked very closely with Reed Environment, and this initiative demonstrates our commitment to fostering forward-thinking economic development. We are delighted to welcome OEA to Huntingdonshire – St Ives is the perfect location for this new training academy – a highly accessible location, situated central to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region, with easy access to the M11 corridor, and out to Suffolk and Norwich.”

OEA offers industry-wide training from inexperienced beginners to experienced gas engineers renewing their qualifications or expanding their knowledge from its two academies, the new site in East Anglia and a flagship site in Oxfordshire.

Both centres provide approved training for Gas, Electrical, Renewable Energy, Solid Fuel and Oil as well as NVQ Level 2 & 3 in Plumbing and Gas.

Originally founded in 2011, the academy’s Apprenticeship Training Centre in Witney was officially opened in 2014 by then Prime Minister, David Cameron, who remarked: "Apprenticeships can be a big part not just of tackling unemployment but also in making sure our economic recovery is for all, and that is why centres like this one set up by the OEA are so important."

Established in 2024, the East Anglia Energy Academy is fitted with high quality workshop and assessment areas, classrooms, and computer facilities. You can find out more about the courses on offer at