APHC has given SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering, its wholehearted backing as it tries to ward off vulnerable consumers from taking short courses that promise much and deliver little. APHC has already made clear its views on the issue and is delighted that this important organisation is taking a stand, and has also achieved the backing of Lord Young of Norwood, Minister for Skills.
SummitSkills says that with the current economic downturn certain to produce many redundancies this year, training courses that claim to turn people into qualified plumbers quickly are increasingly being advertised with promises of a plentiful supply of lucrative work opportunities. Unfortunately, many who have undertaken such courses have found they have been misled and that their new skills are not recognised by employers and are inadequate to get them back into employment. APHC's President, Graham Beevers, comments: "These rogue training companies are always looking out for vulnerable individuals and the current spate of redundancies has led to these companies increasing their presence. APHC receives calls and emails every week from individuals who have signed up to one of these courses and soon come to regret it. Alongside SummitSkills, we are continuing our own efforts to explain to people that there simply is no short-cut to becoming a skilled and qualified plumber."
Industry organisations recognise the full Level 2 NVQ with two years practical on-the-job experience as the minimum entry level, with APHC recommending Level 3 NVQ as the standard for which all plumbers should aim. Training should last three to four years, not a matter of weeks.