BSE Skills Ltd is among the professional bodies from across the industry who have come together to support an ongoing review of Scotland’s plumbing and heating apprenticeship.

The partnership has joined organisations, employers and apprentices to agree the skills and training needed to continue the apprenticeship’s low-carbon focus, enhance green technology training and ensure a resilient future.

And BSE Skills has worked in close partnership with the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation (SNIPEF) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to respond to the growing demand for greater low-carbon skills and ensure apprentices are ready to take on the challenge of decarbonising Scotland’s buildings.

Alan McDonald, BSE Skills Project Manager, said: “As the standard setting organisation that bridges the gap between educators and industry, BSE Skills has been delighted to play its part in this review and pull together the necessary paperwork for submission to the Apprenticeship Approvals Group.

“The detail and depth of thought that has gone into this review reinforces the quality of the apprenticeship and how it is being led by industry to ensure that we’re net zero ready and can make a smooth transition to a renewable future.”

To date, the apprenticeship review has encompassed a series of comprehensive engagements, including industry-wide consultations, employee workshops and the establishment of a series of working groups.

Stephanie Lowe, SNIPEF Deputy Chief Executive, said: “The review has attracted unparalleled support from across the profession to advance training and development in low-carbon technologies and sustainability for the next generation of plumbing and heating professionals.

“Guided by the expertise of SDS and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), I am convinced that this collaborative endeavour will improve Scotland’s plumbing and heating apprenticeship going forward and reinforce the profession’s collective commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Fundamental to the review has been the extensive involvement of employers and their apprentices, who have worked to identify and agree on the essential skills and training to meet with the profession’s future requirements.

One such participant has been John Doherty, Director at John Doherty & Co Ltd, who said: “As employers, we bring a unique perspective on what the apprenticeship programme should encompass, driven by our firsthand experience of this ever-evolving profession.

“This review has been instrumental in positioning our collective expertise and viewpoints at the core of the apprenticeship review. It is a definitive example of how collaboration between business and academia can significantly advance apprenticeship programmes, ensuring they meet future employer demands.”

As well as aiming to future-proof the curriculum against emerging technological advancements, the review also aligns with the Construction Leadership Forum’s Construction Accord, which aspires to low-carbon skills development for apprentices across Scotland’s construction sector.

Laura Brady, Development Manager – Construction at SDS, said: “The expertise of multiple stakeholders, along with the commitment from SNIPEF, employers and apprentices, is fundamental in ensuring the apprenticeship meets the profession’s future demands and secures its vital role in Scotland’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Ultimately, this apprenticeship is designed for the profession, by the profession. Our commitment to being involved with other industry experts reflects our understanding that it is the sector which is best positioned to effectively determine the apprenticeship’s content to meet current and future needs.”

Plans are under way for the newly updated apprenticeship framework to be approved by late 2024.