A state-of-the-art training academy in Edinburgh is helping to produce the apprentices of tomorrow by putting youngsters on a pathway to employment, as well as upskill experienced energy engineers.
When it opened its doors in February, The Energy Training Academy was Scotland’s latest LCL Awards-approved training centre. It was also the first ever in the country to operate as a social enterprise, meaning any profits will be re-invested back into the community.
The 12,000 sq ft facility, which could see up to 100 new engineers attain the necessary qualifications each year, includes three industry leading lecture rooms that can each accommodate up to 15 students. There’s also a number of interactive areas to help trainees learn more about the benefits of renewable technologies, including heat pumps and solar energy.
As part of this exciting project, Conex Bänninger is one of a number of manufacturers that have donated products from its market leading range of fittings and valves to ensure the training centre is fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology.
Ged Grimes, Business Unit Director for Conex Bänninger in the UK & Ireland, said: “One of the biggest challenges facing the HVAC industry is a skills shortage. The opening of the first social enterprise Energy Training Academy in Scotland is another vital step forward in helping our sector tackle this.
“At Conex Bänninger, we are delighted we’ve been able to support such an important initiative, both by providing products that can used for practical installation purposes, but also working in partnership with the Academy where our expert technical team have the opportunity from time to time to share their expertise and Best Practice with students.
“The Energy Training Academy has a significant role to play in helping address the skills gap, providing a vital pathway for both young people and those looking to retrain to learn a trade that is critical to the UK economy.”
The Academy features an open floor area with multiple ‘live’ boilers on the walls connected to hot and cold water supplies, radiators and gas meters, as well as bays that replicate a home environment to help trainees gain valuable practical experience working on boilers, gas fires and underfloor heating. There’s also a dedicated space for gas engineers to sit their Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) exams.
Overseeing the Academy is technical director Ian Edgeworth. He commented: “The Energy Training Academy is going to make an enormous impact in the community. It’s a fantastic facility and the support offered by manufacturers like Conex Bänninger to help get us up and running has been invaluable.”
Offering a wide range of training courses, from entry-level to advanced certifications, the Academy has the capacity to hold 60 full-time and 40 part-time courses annually, providing students with hands-on experience in a realistic and safe environment.
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