As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2019, our industry partner Airco has given their views on why apprenticeships are so important, not just for the individual but for the industry too.
Do you believe that apprenticeships are beneficial?
Apprenticeships are certainly worthwhile for earning whilst learning! Many employers in this region prefer to have their younger workforce practising their ‘on the job’ skills at the same time as gaining a meaningful qualification. Or alternatively, providing their own graduation schemes. We feel that it is much more beneficial to gain an apprenticeship, as it is much more difficult to gain employment after university.
However, we do believe that learners should look for the New Apprenticeship Standard qualifications, Level 3 or a Higher Level/Degree apprenticeship, to gain more opportunities.
What apprenticeship scheme do you offer?
We, as a training provider offer the new standard in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems Engineering Technician (RACHP). This is a three year, Level 3 qualification and it is essentially a multi-skilled course. This means it covers a number of skills required in engineering including Electrical. Some companies, such as Sewell Group send their FM apprentices to us, simply for that reason alone.
We also train apprentices from Airco and other companies.
It is academically rigorous and includes full time work and attending College in 1 or 2 week blocks. The course has both theoretical and practical Units. It is demanding and learners have to balance full time work (which can include ‘being on call’ and working away), time in College, revision, monthly assignments to be completed outside of College, online tests and so on.
What do you look for in applicants?
The requirements for our apprenticeships are GCSE 4/5 and above in English and Maths and similar in Science (One employer asks for 6’s across all subjects!). The apprenticeship starts in September of each year and because of the nature of RAC the learners do not usually attend College during the summer months.
Therefore, candidates have to demonstrate the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours. I have attached a very brief summary of the type of qualities they have to evidence.
To discover more about Airco Apprenticeships or for tips and advice on the knowledge, skills and behaviour covered within a professional interview, please follow the links below.