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Young people in Wales encouraged to kick start career with heating apprenticeship

Following GCSE and A-Levels results day, young people in Wales are being urged to consider a career in the heating industry through an apprenticeship to help tackle the skills shortage facing the sector.

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The Department for Education announced a 24.1% drop in apprenticeship enrolments in 2017/18 compared to the previous academic year with 223 people starting on the new Plumbing and Heating Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard to date.

Fuelled by the high costs associated with going to university and the rising cost of living, apprenticeships are increasingly being seen as a highly credible further education option and route into future employment, with more and more students and parents recognising the benefits of combining theoretical and practical training.


A recent survey by OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, also suggests apprenticeships are an excellent starting point in the heating industry, with 48% of registered technicians stating they had started their career from an apprenticeship.

To drive the push for tomorrows’ technicians, OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, is offering advice for young people around the benefits of apprenticeships and starting a career within the heating industry.

  • Transferable skills – The Level 3 Heating and Plumbing Apprenticeship Standard is designed by employers to ensure that apprentices gain the right skills and knowledge to become a certified heating technician.
  • Practical work experience – Apprentices will work with a competent employer within the heating sector and gain practical experience from real-life scenarios, allowing them to apply knowledge and learn faster.
  • Earn while you learn – Apprentices will be paid a minimum of £3.90 per hour (often increases with age and experience) whilst completing their apprenticeship and will be in a great space for achieving further employment from their employer.
  • Professional recognition – After completing the apprenticeship, learners may be able to apply for EngTech registration by the Engineering Council as a formal and globally recognised Engineering Technician.
  • One year’s free OFTEC membership – Apprentices can apply for one year’s free registration for OFTEC’s competent persons scheme to demonstrate their professionalism to customers, receive ongoing technical support and training and enjoy a host of other benefits.. 
  • Opportunities to make a difference in a growing but challenging sector – With a widespread skills gap facing the heating sector and an ageing workforce, there is high-demand for new technicians who will play a central role in supporting households in Wales with their future heating needs.

David Knipe, Training Manager at OFTEC, said: “Apprenticeships offer an excellent opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience to kickstart your career in the heating sector and start the journey to becoming a fully competent technician.

“With 114000 oil heated households in Wales, there is certainly no shortage of work. From our recent survey we know that 66% of our OFTEC technicians currently have, or would consider, taking on an apprentice in the future, so the opportunities are certainly there. We hope to encourage more people to join this exciting industry.”