Working with its members and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Education (IfATE), the BCAS Training and Development Committee has been instrumental in the development of the new apprenticeship, according to BCAS. It recognises the vital importance of developing the specific engineering skills required in the compressed air and vacuum industry, helping to release funding to develop the engineers of the future.
During the three-year apprenticeship, candidates will learn how to commission compressed air and/or vacuum equipment and their associated systems, alongside service and maintenance, fault diagnosis, repair and system optimisation.
Delivered via a network of engineering training colleges across the UK, the first year of the course will be mainly college-based, with some practical engineering experience. It will also include the development of transferrable skills, which can be provided via BCAS training courses including working safely with compressed air and compressed air treatment technology to name a few.
The following two years will be more focused on developing the key engineering skills required by the industry, including installation, commissioning, service and repair of compressed air and vacuum systems.
At each stage of the candidate's development, EAL will provide end-point assessment that validates the quality of the training received.
Roy Brooks, technical development officer at BCAS, added: "Our research demonstrates a shortage of qualified engineers in our industry and, with the average age of a qualified engineer currently at 48 years old, we need to act now to secure the skills required for the future. We are delighted that the new apprenticeship is now ready to be delivered to our engineers of the future, helping to plug this skills gap."
Mathew Gould, elected chair of the BCAS training and development committee and the Compressed Air and Vacuum Technical Apprenticeship Trailblazer group added: “This standard ensures we have an industry-specific pathway for the introduction of the next generation of professionals, providing standardisation of their skills, competence, behaviours and safe working. The standard ensures that upon successful completion, the apprentice achieves a national apprenticeship, academic qualifications and may apply for the professional recognition of EngTech with The Society of Operations Engineers.”