Following the announcement of the closure of SummitSkills from March 2017, two of the trade bodies who helped to set up the sector skills organisation – the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) – have responded to the news.
“The great legacy of SummitSkills will be the specific focus it created on skills for our specialist sector, which ensured that our training provision was not wrongly regarded as simply an extension of wider construction,” said BESA chief executive Paul McLaughlin.
ECA CEO Steve Bratt said: “We are now at a stage where employers in our sector are taking the lead and running apprenticeship trailblazers themselves, which is extremely positive. The ECA, the BESA and other key partners will continue to support building services engineering contractors who offer highly technical apprenticeships, through specialised advice and expert guidance.
Mr McLaughlin and Mr Bratt added: “The BESA and ECA are extremely grateful for the hard work of SummitSkills staff in raising skills standards, and we will build on that legacy for the good of future generations of building engineering professionals.”
SummitSkills has spanned the building services engineering sector, including the electro-technical, heating, ventilating, and plumbing air conditioning and refrigeration disciplines – providing detailed guidance for each.
Mr McLaughlin concluded: “Trade associations will continue to work closely with other industry partners, employers and skills providers to secure the success of the government-backed ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeships, and to further develop short course competency training and assessment. This and other joint activity will continue to ensure sector skills provision following the spring 2017 closure of SummitSkills.”