BEST/QTS alliance boosts ductwork apprenticeships

Building Engineering Services Training (BEST) has formed two strategic alliances to offer, for the first time, a uniform, high-standard, national apprenticeship scheme for ductwork and scaffolding. The alliance partners are QTS, a specialist ductwork training company, and WCTS, the largest private training provider to the scaffolding sector. Together with BEST, they will offer up to 200 new apprenticeships each year in ductwork and scaffolding.

Mark Brenner, chief executive of BEST explains that these sectors have suffered from a lack of apprenticeships for many years, largely due to a lack of consistent quality training. ‘Last year, there were fewer than 10 ductwork apprenticeship starts, and this is causing a real shortage of qualified ductworkers in the industry. Our new alliances enable BEST to offer up to 200 apprenticeships each year and a sorely needed minimum standard for the industry.’

More than 70 ductwork and scaffolding apprentices have already signed up to the new BEST offering, including Isotemp Ductwork. Steve Morgan, quality and safety manager at Isotemp, said, ‘We are aiming for a 100% skilled workforce, so the new BEST/QTS alliance is a great move forward for the sector. The alliance gives us the opportunity to bring new entrants into the ductwork industry with the relevant industry-recognised qualifications, ensuring a quality product and installation and the ability to work safely in the workplace.’

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