10 August 2022
The Skills and Training group of ACRIB, the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board, includes representatives from key trade associations and institutes. They have recently been discussing employers' concerns about some students struggling to complete courses, not being enrolled on the right level of qualification and delays in taking their final exams.
As a result, conclusions were drawn illustrating the need for a strong network of training providers offering everything from high-quality apprenticeships to short courses. In addition, with the new Building Safety Act and F-Gas Regulation revision, the employer responsibilities to ensure staff are competent in areas such as the handling of flammable refrigerants are more prominent than ever before.
Some suggestions for how the industry can help to address these issues include:
- Employers should work closely with local trainers: Find out what is available, tell local trainers what you need and maybe offer to help. For example, colleges are often looking for experienced people to join the staff as part-time tutors– may be one of your staff can help?
- Supply equipment: Manufacturers, suppliers and wholesalers might be able to provide equipment for trainees to learn on - a great way of ensuring they are confident in working with your equipment before they come across it in the field.
- Train as an assessor: Experienced people are needed to train as assessors. There are part-time roles at City & Guilds for those with Level 3 qualifications and recent experience to qualify as End Point Assessors - the more assessors in place, the quicker the backlog of new apprentices will be cleared.
- Share your success: If you are positive about your training experience, you will encourage others. Some trainees are nervous about completing their courses and exams and need inspiration from others who have achieved their career ambitions.
- Check what type of training is right for you:
- Apprenticeships are for those who need a complete range of knowledge, skills and behaviours to develop a long-term career in the sector as an engineering technician.
- Level 2 RACHP qualifications such as City & Guilds 6090-02 are available for those whose work is limited to smaller equipment.
- Introduction to theory courses are often available from private training providers for those new to the industry
- There are lots of short course options to top up specific knowledge on flammables, carbon dioxide, safety, F-Gas awareness etc
Find out more at ACRIB's education pages and searchable database of training providers and links to local centres here.