NVQs for building services workers

Skills Pay, Building Engineering Services Training’s (BEST) Train to Gain scheme, has seen its first group of candidates complete their training and become certificated by City & Guilds for NVQ level 3 and NVQ level 2 in Heating and Ventilating (industrial and commercial) Gas.

Ivan Parker of Birchall, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and Brett Mason of Daly Engineering Services, based in Coventry, were awarded their NVQ level 3 certificates, whilst Alan Hughes, also of Birchall, obtained an NVQ level 2.

Skills Pay allows building services employers to take advantage of free or part-funded training for all employees to help them achieve an NVQ level 2 qualification or higher.

Christine Wright, BEST technical and qualifications manager, explains the importance of the scheme: “Having a carded workforce can mean the difference between winning and losing a contract. Obtaining a SKILLcard requires employees to be qualified to at least NVQ level 2 and, in the case of electrical installation, NVQ level 3.

“The Skills Pay scheme funding enables employers to upskill employees to the industry’s minimum requirements. There is therefore no better time for a company to show its commitment to its employees and for employees to assist in winning those valuable contracts.”

Steven Robbins, one of BEST’s Skills Pay assessors, commented “Ivan, Brett and Alan are all proof that working behind the scenes in many companies there are plenty of employees who already have the skills to do the job and with a little guidance can quickly achieve NVQ level 2 or 3 qualifications.

“Take Ivan and Brett as examples, when I visited them on-site to assess competence, they produced excellent evidence of accredited prior learning (APL). In-fact, I often find that experienced workers, with no formal qualifications, actually shine out on-site in both work and attitude. It was easy to see that they would quickly manage to complete the remaining elements of portfolio evidence to enable them to achieve their NVQ.”

These first candidates and their companies applied for Skills Pay funding in August 2008, and following an initial interview to establish work currently being undertaken and the qualification level that could then be aimed for, all were accepted for full funding. Steven Robbins provided information, advice and guidance to each candidate at the interview stage to prepare them for his on-site assessments.

Employers and employees can access the scheme anywhere in the country by contacting BEST, which will, in the first instance, carry out an initial interview and assessment of eligibility and training need. This involves benchmarking current performance and skills levels against the industry standards to identify realistic targets. All assessment is carried out by industry qualified and experienced assessors. For more information: email TraintoGain@best-ltd.co.uk or call, 0800 917 8419.