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RAC + HP apprenticeship standard launched

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) confirms approval of a new apprenticeship standard for the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Engineering Technician

The apprenticeship was developed by employers in the industry, with the support of industry bodies Institute of Refrigeration and the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Industry Board.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Apprenticeships are a real success story. 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.

“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.”

IOR President, Graeme Maidment FInstR, explains that it is critical for us as an industry that we lead the development of skills for the RACHP sector.

The new RACHP Engineering Technician apprenticeship will enable our industry to support and engage with young people at an early stage in their career - people who are going to be driving change and shaping our industry in the future.

“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.

The chairman of the group is John Austin-Davies FInstR (Commercial Director of George Barker & Co (Leeds) Ltd, part of the Epta Group). He and the other employers, large and small, representing the variety of our industry, are committed to seeing this new approach through.

He comments: “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 3 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 on hearing today’s news.

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.

Our industry has always been a strong supporter of training and apprentices as a way of bringing attention to careers in this interesting and varied sector

Through  initiatives such as National Student and Apprentice of the Year awards, SkillFRIDGE skills competitions and most recently the CoolScience stand at the Big Bang national science and engineering careers fair, and now its own Trailblazer Apprenticeship, it is making real progress in this area.

“No company would succeed by only looking at the present; we need to look to the future. By developing and inspiring young people to be involved in the refrigeration industry we are ensuring that this industry has a future.“ confirms Katie Boots, HR Director at GEA Refrigeration UK. 

Press contact: Miriam Rodway, Institute of Refrigeration, Secretariat for RACHP Trailblazer group.

Tel 07855572066  email miriam@ior.org.uk    twitter  @thecoolinghub

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