Building Services Academy offers state-of-the-art training centre

Plan for the future of the industry by developing the next generation of apprentices...

Building Services Academy is a brand-new company that has recently developed a Training and Development Centre specifically aimed at the building services sector. Offering training and development opportunities for the mechanical and electrical building services industries, the company’s state-of-the-art training suite is based at Kilwee Industrial Estate, Dunmurry Lane, Belfast. To date, some 40 apprentices across both mechanical and electrical disciplines have been recruited by BSA, working in partnership with People 1st.

Fergal Collins, Director, Building Services Academy, said, “Taking on an apprentice is an investment in your company’s future; it unlocks the great potential of young people and provides development opportunities for the work force. Training and development is often experienced across a company when they support an apprentice.

“But, like any investment, it needs to be part of a company development plan, with both the training programme and the business development taken into account.”

According to Building Services Academy, the first and most important part of taking on an apprentice is to make sure that the potential member of staff will fit into the existing team and has the aptitude to succeed in the demanding technical aspects of a training and work environment. A typical personal specification of an apprentice is someone who is practical, is well presented and will be able to meet the full requirements of the industry training programme. If leaving school, they should have at least 3 GCSEs at C grade, with Maths and English being essential.

Once the right person has been employed, the right training needs to be provided. It is important to make sure that the training programme that the apprentice is engaged in meets the industry-recognised standards and leads to the qualifications needed for an ECS Gold card in the occupation that is relevant for the business’ need.

“The next area that needs to be considered is the type of training organisation that will be used to provide the training for the apprentice, and that decision sits with the business and what is the best fit for their specific needs,” added Fergal.

“We offer a training facility with a difference in that the centre is specific and unique to the skills and installation practices that relate directly to your industry’s needs.” Fergus added, “Our blended approach to training and assessment is delivered by a mixture of classroom-based theory, practical workshop skills enhancement and site- based experience, with assessments to test knowledge progression, and demonstrations of competence over the training programme.

“A different aspect to our approach is that we encourage our prospective employers to engage with us directly regarding their individual apprentice’s training through to the completion of their qualification.

“Businesses can significantly benefit from taking an active role in the training and development of their staff. An apprentice will provide support to the business but they will also need to be supported and nurtured by their company and training provider. Our three-way support is key to successful employment and company development.

“With all this in mind, we are keen to explore your company’s thoughts around specific apprentice training needs in the modern construction workplace and to find out more about your plans on taking on apprentices to maintain the future sustainability of the building services industry.”

Building Services Academy –
T: 0044 (0)7771 913822