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School refurbs bring hvac training opportunity

The body delivering the Government’s flagship Building Schools for the Future scheme is looking at ways of using the massive construction programme to engage young people in the building services industry.

Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnerships for Schools (PfS), has met with his counterparts and educational representatives from the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association, the Electrical Contractors’ Association and SummitSkills to discuss the opportunities the scheme offers.

Ideas being explored include vocational training programmes linked to BSF projects, apprenticeships, enriching careers advice and improving relationships between contractors and the schools they are working in.

Sarah Wicks, HVCA’s head of education, said negotiations were at an early stage but was hopeful progress could be made.
“HVCA believes the schools programme creates an ideal and very practical opportunity to stimulate, excite and inspire young people about the career opportunities within the building engineering services industry,” she said.

“We, working together with our colleagues in the ECA and SummitSkills, are in dialogue with PfS over this and the development of vocational training programmes to suit their requirements.

“We support the encouragement of training through the supply chain. We and our members are enthusiastic about working with PfS and the opportunities this affords our industry.”

Keith Marshall, chief executive of SummitSkills, said: “This was a good, positive meeting and we have a huge opportunity if you look at the work which is going on through BSF. You have so many schools where construction activity is on their doorsteps and this is a wonderful learning resource. We are now drawing up a blueprint of how this could work.”