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Plumbing firms blast standard of skills training

Plumbing firms blast standard of skills training

The standard of plumbing courses is coming under fire as employers are faced with trainees with only basic skills.

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has criticised a number of training providers for promoting lower cost plumbing courses to employers at the expense of the wider scoped building services apprenticeships.

Many colleges promote plumbing short courses because they are cheaper to deliver.

BESA wants to see people enrolled on more technically demanding training such as the new Trailblazer apprenticeships or an installer, craftsperson and service & maintenance course.

Director of training Tony Howard said: “Employers are still being pushed towards plumbing instead of pipework qualifications. Why would you accept that?

“Pilots all undertake the same basic training, but people flying off on their summer holidays this year in an Airbus A320 might be a little nervous if they knew the pilot had only trained on a Cessna.”

Howard is urging employers to look at what they are actually getting for their money.

He said: “You shouldn’t think it’s not your money because you aren’t paying the Apprenticeship Levy.

“You will still be out of pocket if you have to fill the skills gaps left by training providers and pay for the wastage and refits created by unskilled workers.

“There is a surfeit of short courses designed simply to get people into the industry, which has undermined our skills base.

“We have ended up with lots of people only capable of carrying out basic activities – the plumbing and gas sectors being the worst offenders.

“I believe in competency training and assessment, but a short programme or quick course is not the way to set up our future workforce. On the contrary, it is setting people up to fail.”


BESA is working with building engineering employers to develop targeted Trailblazer apprenticeships in key technical sectors.


Article courtesy of Construction Enquirer (www.constructionenquirer.com)




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