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Minister praises RACHP apprentice scheme

UK: Skills minister Nick Boles congratulated those involved with developing the industry’s new RACHP apprenticeship scheme at a special presentation yesterday afternoon.

As revealed by the Cooling Post, yesterday, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has confirmed its approval of a new apprenticeship standard for the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Engineering Technician, developed by employers in the industry, with the support of industry bodies Institute of Refrigeration and ACRIB.

Those involved with developing the acr industry’s apprenticeship standard joined with over 200 other employee groups at Elstree Film Studios in Hertfordshire yesterday afternoon to celebrate the hard work and success of all those involved in the Trailblazer programme.

Describing apprenticeships as a real success story, skills minister Nick Boles said: “I congratulate the members of the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Engineering Trailblazer on their involvement in designing the new apprenticeships for RACHP Engineering Technicians, which we have published today.

“Through giving leading employers in your sector the power to design and deliver high quality apprenticeships we can give young people the skills our economy vitally needs.”

The new apprenticeship is seen as a major step forward in improving skills and encouraging young people to take up careers in this industry.

Seeing the development of skills as critical for the RACHP sector, IoR president Graeme Maidment emphasised how important it is to support and engage with young people at an early stage in their career – people who will be shaping the future of the industry.

Graeme Maidment: “an immediate and lasting contribution to the future of the industry”

“The Institute of Refrigeration is proud to be working with so many employers, trainers and with trade associations through ACRIB on this exciting, ground-breaking project.  There is much more work to be done to bring this new standard to the market but we are confident that with continued high levels of support from employers, it will make an immediate and lasting contribution to the future of the industry.”

The new Apprenticeship standard outlines the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to achieve full competence in RACHP Engineering Technician job roles. The standard was developed by a group of twelve employers designated a Trailblazer by BIS.  They will continue now to prepare an assessment plan, leading to a new apprenticeship for the RACHP Engineering Technician, linked to Engineering Council national standards.

Chairman of the development group John Austin-Davies of George Barker commented “Training to a consistent, and nationally agreed standard, is more important in this industry now than ever before. Our Industry is a major energy user, and in addition to the energy consumption there are other very significant environmental aspects, all of which mean that the technology is moving fast. We must be confident that we have a well prepared work-force to install safely and correctly, and maintain working with optimum efficiency. The Apprenticeship Trailblazer programme is the best opportunity we have to make the step-change necessary.”

The Apprenticeship is designed to be delivered over three years, with a strong focus on applying relevant scientific principles and fundamentals and a much clear role for the employer in work-based training. “It is a marvellous opportunity to build learning and training outcomes so that employers can trust and value the qualifications our staff achieve,” said John Fraser, operations director, Star Refrigeration.

The next stage of development will include many more opportunities for further consultation within the RACHP industry, including training providers, existing apprentices, employers, manufacturers and those responsible for developing qualifications.

The announcement of the success of the new RACHP Apprenticeship Standard comes during National Apprenticeship Week and in the midst of the industry’s involvement with its CoolScience stand at the Big Bang national science and engineering careers fair at the NEC this week.

Related stories:

Thumbs up for new RACHP apprenticeship – March 12, 2015
UK: The industry’s proposals for a new RACHP engineering technician apprenticeship standard have been accepted today under the UK government’s Trailblazer initiative. Read more…

IoR seeks input on new apprenticeships – November 12, 2014
UK: The Institute of Refrigeration is seeking input from UK industry as it starts the process of developing new apprenticeship standards for air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump engineers. Read more…

Industry seeks new approach to training – October 29, 2014
UK: Training expert John Ellis has called for a new approach to the specification of skills for apprentices in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector. Read more…

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