05 October 2023
Following a £100,000 investment, Vaillant has joined forces with West Suffolk College in Bury St. Edmunds, to open a new, heat pump focused training facility that will increase accessibility to low carbon training for students, apprentices and heating engineers in East Anglia.
Officially opened by the Leader of West Suffolk District County Council, Councillor Cliff Waterman, the new partner centre expands Vaillant’s already strong in-person training capabilities. The company expects to see more than 500 installers trained in the design, installation and maintaining heat pump systems at this site alone in the coming year.
The new centre will host both Vaillant’s own product courses that allow installers to upskill in heat pump technology and offers practical modules within its Aspire Heat Pump training pathway. The centre will also serve West Suffolk College’s student population supporting low carbon and plumbing and heating apprentices and students with practical skills. The college will also offer its own regulated level 3 Heat Pump qualifications to existing installers.
Starting from October 2023, all courses run on Vaillant products at the West Suffolk College Training Centre will be to the same high standard as those found in Vaillant’s six Centres of Excellence and other training partner centres around the UK. The new facility is conveniently located for installers in East Anglia who may previously have had to travel to Belper, Kings Hill or beyond to find specialised training.
To further complement the practical element on offer to those who attend the courses, Vaillant has installed several key products at the centre, including its aroTHERM plus air source heat pump; so, installers can access valuable hands-on experience of the technology, as well as having the opportunity to ask questions in a training environment.
Speaking about the partnership, Mark Wilkins, Training and Technologies Director at Vaillant, said: “Customer interest in heat pumps has continued to grow, certainly in the past two – three years. With the Prime Minister’s recent statement on net zero detailing an uplift in the Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant to £7,500, from the original £5,000, the need to have enough installers properly trained and able to advise and fit this low carbon technology is vital. Not only in meeting this aim, but also in securing consumer confidence in the performance of this technology and ensuring the pathway to finding an installer is made as easy as possible.
“At Vaillant, we pride ourselves in offering robust training, especially for those keen to diversify their business with low carbon technology. This partnership with West Suffolk College now provides a convenient base for even more installers from the surrounding area and those coming into the industry, to access the right training to gain first-hand experience of heat pump technologies.”
Phil Stittle, Executive Director for Business Development at West Suffolk College added: “Our partnership with Vaillant opens the doors for even more installers looking to invest in training and make the move to incorporate heat pump installation into their offering to customers. For many installers, heat pump technology is still relatively new, so having product on-site that they can work with and ask questions, will go a long way to building confidence needed to take the step to this low carbon technology as part of its overarching ‘Green Skills Training Offer’.
“Our team at the centre has already undergone intensive training with Vaillant across much of its product portfolio and we’re delighted to be able to deliver low carbon training courses to the same high standard Vaillant holds across its own team. We very much look forward to welcoming installers through the doors to this new centre.”
For more information on the Vaillant training courses available visit: www.vaillant.co.uk