Wonderful news, I thought, when I saw the headline “A quarter of a billion pound investment announced to develop skills in areas like climate change and energy” in December.

Alas, no. The investment is at PhD level only, and energy and climate change is only one of many sectors that will be supported. In fact the BBC website uses anti-terrorism technology as its example.

While I welcome any investment in technology, all the research and PhD work in the world will have little effect unless it is supported by an equally bold programme lower down the labour chain.

I urge the science minister to bolster this initiative by looking carefully at the technician level, to see how apprenticeships and re-skilling can be increased for school or university leavers, or for people who want to change professions, to expand opportunities in areas like energy saving in HVAC and building services.

Darren Bryant, managing director, Efficient Air