Published:  03 August, 2011


Chief Executive of SummitSkills Keith Marshall OBE discusses the new apprentice training revolution that can now get underway, thanks to the new range of qualification frameworks developed by SummitSkills for the sector.

As part of our commitment to improving high quality training provision for the building services engineering (BSE) sector, we were delighted last month that the Skills Funding Agency confirmed funding for the new range of apprentice qualification frameworks we have developed.

The five SASE (Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England) frameworks that will be funded by the Skills Funding Agency are:

• Electrotechnical;

• Heating and ventilating;

• Plumbing and heating;

• Domestic heating;

• Refrigeration and air conditioning

This will mean that for the first time, the BSE sector in England will have a set of simplified and modern frameworks for each industry that will ensure the apprenticeships reflect the current and future needs of employers and customers.

To meet the demands of this changing sector, we have incorporated environmental technologies into each framework. This will help employers who are planning for how they can ensure their workforce has the relevant skills to adapt to the growing environmental technologies market and play their part in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.

The new frameworks are the culmination of three years’ work by SummitSkills and representatives from the BSE sector and mark a new stage in the drive to unify approaches to training apprentices.

This is the first time all of the disciplines in the building services engineering sector will have apprenticeship frameworks based on a common integrated set of standards to help safeguard quality and improve further the services provided across the electrotechnical, heating and ventilating, plumbing, and refrigeration and air conditioning industries.

This will be welcome news to employers in England. Each framework contains individual pathways for occupations within the sector’s industries and summaries of the qualifications which make up the content of each apprenticeship.

We hope to extend this advantage to employers and employees in Wales and Scotland soon, as those BSE apprenticeship frameworks are currently being reviewed and revised.

Above all, the new frameworks provide employers with clear and straight-forward routes to developing the high quality operatives that they need, and will equip a new generation of BSE workers with the highest quality training to start their professional careers.

As the sector skills council for the BSE sector, we know training and skills are key to ensuring a long and prosperous future for our sector. These frameworks are just one of the initiatives we have been working on to help improve access to high quality approved training for employers and operatives but they are vital. They will create new, highly skilled workers for years to come.

Details of the new apprenticeship frameworks are available online.

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