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BSE Skills wins historic skills bid

UK: A new body, BSE Skills Ltd, has been appointed by the four UK governments to oversee vocational training in electrical, plumbing and HVAC.

BSE Skills has been jointly formed by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), Scotland’s Electrical Trade Association SELECT, and the Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF).

The three trade bodies have joined forces to secure an historic agreement from the four UK governments to manage and develop apprenticeships, qualifications and national occupational standards for the building services engineering sector. According to BESA, this is the first time that trade bodies have received a government commission to carry out this work.

The government sponsored sector skills council SummitSkills was the managing body until it ceased trading in 2017 due to insufficient funding. Now, following a four-nation tender process, the central and devolved governments have turned to the three organisations in order to ensure a secure future for vocational training in these crucial specialist sectors.

As member bodies, the trade associations were able to demonstrate close links with employers as well as UK-wide capacity as part of the bidding process. Together, their membership has more than 43,000 businesses representing around 342,000 operatives.

“This sets a wonderful precedent for the future of vocational training across the UK,” said BESA chief executive David Frise. “We are very grateful to the UK governments for having the foresight to recognise the value industry bodies can bring to the management and delivery of vocational training in vital technical sectors.

“It is also extremely heartening to see three complementary bodies working closely together in partnership to achieve a result that should go a long way to addressing the skills shortages being experienced by building engineering employers.”

Related stories:

BESA mourns SummitSkills closure30 October 2016
UK: The associations behind the original establishment of the sector skill council SummitSkills, have paid tribute to its efforts, following this week’s announcement that it is to close. Read more…

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