The RACHP, (refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump) industry have taken a huge step towards incentivising the next generation of air conditioning engineers to take a career in this exciting field. The introduction of the new Engineering Technician Apprenticeship will do wonders for the industry in helping to encourage new talent.
The new apprenticeship will work in a very similar way to the old apprenticeship scheme, in that the same skills and knowledge will be gained, but the way in which this is delivered has changed. Emphasis on the practical application of knowledge will take centre stage under the new scheme, with 80% of the 3-year programme to take place on-the-job. 20% will still be classroom-based, providing a good basic knowledge of the industry.
What’s in it For Employers?
2 years in the making, the new apprenticeship scheme will aim to help young people easily enter the industry, whilst also making it easier for employers to find and tailor their teaching of new talent. The assessment company, City & Guilds is looking to begin delivering the new programme and is currently working alongside the Trailblazer Employers Group to help employers offer the new apprenticeships.
The new apprenticeship is aimed at giving employers more control over their new apprentices, providing them with a guarantee that holders of the new certificates will be competent and will met the requirements of both the government and of their own company.
What’s in it For Young People?
With an estimated 2.56 million job openings expected in engineering companies up to 2022, and with 257,000 of these jobs likely to be new vacanies, the skills gap needs to be filled to allow school leavers to enter this huge employment void in the industry. This apprenticeship scheme is aimed at making a career in air conditioning engineering an appealing prospect worth investing in.
For an industry that is not always top on young people’s list of things they want to do when they grow up; tangible incentives, expert, well-formed training, and guarantees of work, are especially valuable at highlighting this industry to a new wave of talent.
What Standards are Met?
An Apprentice with the new RACHP EngTech will be recognised as an Engineering professional, as well as meeting Engineering Council criteria. Evidence of the Level 3 qualification and work experience evidence is required, and the final assessment will be against Engineering Council criteria. According the Guidance for Trailblazers, “Every apprentice will be assessed in a fair and objective manner, and this independence and impartiality will be critical to ensuring rigorous and high quality assessment.” So employers can rest assured that apprentices will be up to speed with the latest engineering standards and are fully tested on their competence and knowledge.
The vision for the future of the air conditioning sector is to create a sustainable and desirable future. Under the legislation in the 2008 Climate Change Act, carbon emissions must be reduced by 80%. The new generation of engineers will be trained to an optimum level through the new apprenticeship scheme in order to achieve this forward-thinking vision. Leadership from industry leading experts and engaged companies will help, through this new programme, to provide improved skills and knowledge to the next generation, who can take these important aims forward.
If you’re an air conditioning company that is looking to grow your team, and invest your expert knowledge in young talent, be sure to find out more how you can get involved at the government’s apprentice website. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised by how much this simple investment can bring to your company.
If you are a budding young engineer, interested in getting stuck in to a great company, and learning all the skill you need to pursue a long and successful career in this rapidly growing and changing industry, use the Find an Apprenticeship service to find a company near you that can help you succeed.