Industry responds to the closure of SummitSkills

New era in training — Paul McLaughlin.

Following the announcement that the sector skills organisation SummitSkills is to close from March 2017, two organisations that helped to set it up have responded. They are the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA).

Paul McLaughlin, chief executive of BESA, said, ‘The great legacy of SummitSkills will be the specific focus it created on skills for our specialist sector, which ensured that our training provision was not wrongly regarded as simply an extension of wider construction.’

Steve Bratt, CEO of ECA, said, ‘We are now at a stage where employers in our sector are taking the lead and running apprenticeship trailblazers themselves, which is extremely positive. The ECA, the BESA and other key partners will continue to support building-services-engineering contractors who offer highly technical apprenticeships through specialised advice and expert guidance.

Both chief executives said they are extremely grateful for the hard work of SummitSkills staff in raising skills standards and that their organisations will build on that legacy for the good of future generations of building-engineering professional.

SummitSkills has spanned the building-services-engineering sector — including electro-technical, heating, ventilating, plumbing, air conditioning and refrigeration — providing detailed guidance for each.

Paul McLaughlin concluded, ‘’Trade associations will continue to work closely with other industry partners, employers and skills providers to secure the success of the Government-backed “Trailblazer” apprenticeships and to further develop short-course competency training and assessment. This and other joint activity will continue to ensure sector skills provision following the closure of SummitSkills.’

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