Vaillant and Derby College welcome the UK’s first ten Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprentices

The UK's first ten Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprentices.

Marking a UK first – and helping address the need to attract many more apprentices into this growing field – Vaillant is delighted to be supporting the inaugural cohort of Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprentices accredited with the King’s Standard.

By partnering with local Derby College Group, where the students will be based, Vaillant has ensured that – for the first time – apprentices are able to take advantage of training with low carbon technology as its focus. Previously, the sector specific apprenticeships have focused around traditional gas heating systems, with students required to complete additional learning to install equipment such as heat pumps.

Vaillant is proud to be investing in 10 full-time, employed apprentices throughout their 3-year course, supporting the UK government to meet their targets of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028. The new apprentices will eventually graduate with a Level 3 certificate in low carbon heating technologies.

During the Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship, the apprentices will get to grips with the latest heat pump technology as well as other types of low carbon heating systems. They will also gain knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to work in the heating sector including how to interact with customers in their homes and how to deliver excellent customer service. The apprentices will also benefit from the opportunity to gain additional skills that will be beneficial as they embark on careers installing low carbon heating. This includes bricklaying, plastering, electrical installation and customer service. They will also benefit from experience gained from working across the Vaillant business to further their abilities and competencies as the course progresses. The second and third year will include a programme of on-the-job training with qualified heating engineers to provide further first-hand installation experience.

Demonstrating the increased demand for low carbon heating technology and renewables training, this first cohort of ten apprentices, aged 16 – 19, were selected from more than 60 candidates hailing from around the Derbyshire and East Midlands area. Each applicant impressed tutors and Vaillant, following their involvement in several rounds of interviews and assessment days held at the college and at Vaillant’s UK headquarters in Belper, Derbyshire. Although the first cohort includes younger installers, the new Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship  is open to those of all ages keen to expand their knowledge or even switch careers.

Mark Wilkins, Training and Technologies Director at Vaillant comments:

“Investing in young people and encouraging new entrants to the industry is paramount for the future of low carbon technologies. I was delighted to see such a huge interest in the Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship, and we have been overwhelmed with the amount of passion and drive that all applicants displayed.

“It is also encouraging to see a diverse group of applicants – we are seeing a shift in the industry, historically being male dominant, so it is exciting to be part of these changes, building the future workforce. The industry is developing, and there’s a fantastic support network out there for those interested in pursuing a career, no matter your background – there are opportunities for everyone. This is just the beginning and we’re looking forward to remain invested in training up the future workforce of the heating industry”

Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS said, “I’m delighted to see the enthusiasm for our Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship and that Vaillant have worked closely with their local College to enable access onto the course.

We need to develop a workforce that are equipped to support homeowners in heating and decarbonising their homes. It is therefore critical that we have dedicated pathways to develop an army of renewable heating installers with certifiable skills who know how to design and fit these systems efficiently.” 

Carol Dixon, Director of Employer Partnerships at Derby College Group, added:

“We are thrilled to be working with Vaillant to roll out the first Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship at Derby College Group. A great deal of work has gone into getting the course ready for this first cohort and we are delighted to be able to set these apprentices well on the way to a fulfilling career. As one of the largest heating manufacturers in the area, the support Vaillant has been able to provide to this group and in shaping the course, will go a long way to ensuring installers of the future have low carbon systems well within their skill set. We very much look forward to continuing to prepare engineers of the future as part of this partnership for years to come.”

This partnership with Derby College Group is just beginning with more planned throughout  2024 and beyond, with the aim of developing stronger low carbon opportunities for those coming into the industry. It expects to see thousands trained in the coming years from new entrants in the industry to experienced business owners; supporting a much-needed boost to those qualified to install new technologies, such as heat pumps.

The course is recognised by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) and was developed by MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) with support from employers across the low carbon heating sector including MCS certified contractors. It also forms part of the Green Apprenticeships holding the Kings Standard, launched to celebrate the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.

For further information on the Low Carbon Heating Technician Apprenticeship, and other courses available, visit Vaillant’s website.