City College Norwich has become the first college in the East of England to offer Gas Engineering Apprenticeships. Apprentices will benefit from a new gas training and assessment workshop, supplementing on-the-job training with their employers.
The first 14 Apprentices - who are employed by Gasway, KGB Commercial Heating and Reynolds Heating Ltd - recently began their training.
The Gas Engineering Apprenticeship will help employers to recruit and train a new generation of gas engineers, whilst providing potential employees with a great route into this highly-skilled, varied and attractive career.
By the end of the 2-year course, successful Apprentices will have earned their licence to practice as Gas Safe-registered engineers, as well as a Level 3 Diploma in Gas Engineering.
The strong level of interest in the Gas Engineering Apprenticeship was in evidence at a recent Gasway recruitment event at Carrow Road. Norwich-based Gasway, which is the largest heating company in East Anglia, received 68 applications for 9 Apprentice positions with the company.
Ann Marie Seale, HR Manager, Gasway, said:
“Apprenticeships are so important to Gasway because without them we can’t continue to grow and to develop our business. The demographic is ageing, in term of experienced and skilled people, and it’s important that we now look to the younger generation and open up opportunities for them to be able to train and to learn from experienced mentors.”
A new gas engineering workshop has been opened by City College Norwich to provide the specialist equipment needed to support the Apprentices’ training. The workshop has 10 training bays, containing boilers, fires, water heaters, hobs and cookers, as well as a new Assessment Zone.
An extensive refurbishment of the workshop for its new function has been made possible thanks to considerable support from a wide range of employers, manufacturers and Apprentices.
Graham Plumbers Merchant provided £10,000 funding for the project, after the college was successful in their College Refresh competition. A further £1,000 came from HIP Magazine after City College Norwich Plumbing & Heating Apprentice Anthony Iacavazzo won their UK Heating Apprentice of the Year competition.
Generous donations of boilers, associated controls, cookers and hobs, were made by Worcester Bosch, Beko, and Vaillant – these were then installed free of charge by Gasway engineers. Anton, ADEY & Rothenberger also assisted by providing specialist tools/equipment for each of the training bays at reduced cost.
The following employers also kindly helped by allowing Plumbing, Maintenance, Fabrication & Welding, Electrical and Bricklaying Apprentices to get involved with the workshop refurbishment: Advanced Metalcraft, ATB Laurence & Scott, Colin Harwin, JKA Home Solutions, DMB Plumbing & Heating Ltd, Heatway Ltd, Anglia Gas Ltd, MCL Ltd, Norwich Electrical, Evolve Construction, and NSH Developments Ltd.
Corrienne Peasgood, Principal, City College Norwich, commented:
“The fantastic response from employers to our new Gas Engineering Apprenticeship underlines the numerous benefits of Apprenticeship training for employers and apprentices alike. The transformation of a plumbing workshop to become the new hub for our gas engineering training has been a real team effort. We have to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of our employer partners, apprentices and suppliers who have helped to make the new gas training and assessment workshop a reality.”
The new Gas Engineering Workshop will be officially opened on Thursday 13 December.