BEST launches apprenticeship schemes
Building Engineering Services Training (BEST) Ltd, the leading UK training provider for the Building Services Engineering (BSE) sector, has announced two new strategic alliances which for the first time offer a uniform, high standard, national apprenticeship scheme for ductwork and scaffolding.
The two alliance partners are QTS, a specialist ductwork training company, and WCTS, the largest private training provider to the scaffolding sector. Together with BEST, they will offer up to 200 new apprenticeships each year in ductwork and scaffolding.
According to Mark Brenner, Chief Executive of BEST, ductwork and scaffolding have suffered from a lack of apprenticeships for many years, largely due to a lack of consistent quality training: “Last year, there were fewer than 10 ductwork apprenticeship starts and this is causing a real shortage of qualified ductworkers in the industry. Our new alliances enable BEST to offer not just more places, in fact up to 200 apprenticeships each year, but also a sorely needed minimum standard for the industry.
“We know that the key to the success of apprenticeships, is the combination of the highest national standards with expert local delivery, and that’s exactly what these alliances enable us to offer.”
Ceri Morgan, Centre Manager at WCTS said: “We’re delighted to be working with BEST to offer the industry a truly joined up approach to training and apprenticeships within the scaffolding sector. With this new alliance, we are able to address a nationwide need to increase uniformity and availability of skills in the sector. This is crucial if we are to overcome the skills shortage and provide health and safety assurance.”
More than 70 ductwork and scaffolding apprentices have already signed up to the new BEST offering, including Isotemp Ductwork Ltd. Steve Morgan, Quality & Safety Manager at Isotemp, said: “We are aiming for a 100% skilled workforce, so the new BEST/QTS alliance is a great move forward for the sector. The alliance gives us the opportunity to bring new entrants into the ductwork industry with the relevant industry recognised qualifications, ensuring a quality product and installation and the ability to work safely in the workplace”.