11 October 2016
Heart of Worcestershire College awarded CIPHE approved training centre status
In late September, representatives from the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering were joined by several of the Institute’s Industrial Associate (IA) supporters at the Heart of Worcestershire College in Worcester to mark the occasion of the college being awarded CIPHE Approved Training Centre (ATC) status.
The afternoon event started with a welcome from the Chairman of the Institute’s Industrial Associates Development Group, Paul Massey, who explained why the CIPHE is championing investment in next generation of plumbing and heating installers.
He said: “This year the Institute has focused on supporting the growth of apprenticeships in the UK as a step towards meeting our objectives, which are to protect consumers in their homes by encouraging best practice and professionalism at all times. While inspiring young people to join the industry is vital, what’s even more important is ensuring those who do so have both the technical and soft skills to carry out work to the highest standards.
“Speaking as someone who started his own career in the plumbing and heating industry as an apprentice, I am of the view that a university career is not always the answer for every individual and that it’s important to project this message as well.
“The expert services that plumbing and heating installers, bricklayers, painters and electrical engineers provide are such a critical part of everyday life. It’s essential these disciplines are managed by fully qualified people in order to offer best value for consumers while safeguarding them at the same time. Inspiring students and apprentices to take pride in their work will not only help close the skills gap but also help stamp out some of the rogue trading that unfortunately still happens in the UK.”
Paul Williams, President of the CIPHE, echoed this sentiment. He commented: “The CIPHE is highly committed to supporting colleges and the great work they do. When I arrived at the Heart of Worcestershire College, I was lucky enough to be given a tour of the workshop and speak to some of the students, which was great. The young people on the courses are the future of our industry and central to what we are trying to achieve at the CIPHE.
“Like many of my colleagues, I started as an apprentice plumber and I now run my own business. While university careers are still heavily promoted in schools, having visited a number of colleges since starting my term as President, it has been heartening to see young people coming through educational channels who want to be plumbers and are proud to be taking that route.
“When you consider the Heart of Worcestershire College had around 22 students enrolled on plumbing courses when the Head of Department, Nick Danter, CRQ Manager - Construction, first arrived in 1987 and has approximately 175 students engaged in this area today, that’s a hugely positive increase.
“As a CIPHE Approved Training Centre, the students will benefit from the support of some of the Institute’s leading Industrial Associate members from the manufacturing community, including Pegler Yorkshire, Worcester, Bosch Group, ADEY Professional Heating Solutions, AKW Limited, Thomas Dudley, Rettig, and Fernox. In addition to providing products and technical advice for the students, links with leading manufacturers such as these can help young people gain a more rounded view of the world of work that awaits them beyond the training room.”
Principal of the Heart of Worcestershire College, Stuart Laverick, concluded: “It was a pleasure to be able to mark the occasion of becoming a CIPHE Approved Training Centre with so many representatives from the wider plumbing and heating industry.
“In Worcestershire, we are fortunate to have strong roots in engineering and manufacturing, which is why we are doubly proud to offer such a wide variety of vocational, technical and professional courses across a range of disciplines. Above all, the college has a central role to play in equipping the next generation for the future. To achieve this, we are investing in the development of a new engineering centre, which should be operational by 2020. This will include some very nice facilities for students who are working towards becoming plumbing and heating engineers.
“As Paul Massey and Paul Williams both pointed out, it is essential that we talk about the importance of apprenticeships, especially in the areas the CIPHE focuses on. Personally, I’m very proud to operate a college where engineering, plumbing and construction are the disciplines that attract the biggest numbers of students to enrol.
“Our mission is to spread the word about the really interesting career opportunities that exist for young people beyond the learning environment, while supporting them throughout their studies to produce top quality people who are well equipped for the future. Partnerships with the wider manufacturing community and associations like the CIPHE are absolutely vital when it comes to achieving this.”
With around 40 colleges around the country that have CIPHE Approved Training Centre status at present, the Institute is keen to connect with as many educational establishments and manufacturers with dedicated training facilities as it possibly can.
If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of involvement, please contact the Institute via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01708 472791.