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Able Skills and Vokera

A year after the launch of the Able Skills gas training centre at the Bradford headquarters of the popular boiler manufacturer, Vokèra, the partnership between the companies is creating huge benefits both for them and for the gas fitting professionals training with them.

The training programme offered at the centre provides a clear and well-supervised path to becoming a qualified Gas Safe Registered engineer. After three weeks of a Managed Learning Programme, the aspiring gas fitters are then guaranteed a work placement alongside a Gas Safe registered engineer to provide them with the opportunity to undertake gas installations and services in a real working environment. Evidence generated from this work is collated within a portfolio.

Once the candidates have built up their portfolio they are able to return to the training centre to sit their Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) exams for gas fitters, which will allow them to register with Gas Safe. Able Skills is accredited by Construction Skills for ACS.

The director of Able Skills, Gary Measures, explained, “Enabling trainees to build up their work portfolio is often a stumbling block for organisations, however the relationships with Gas Installers that have been built in the North by our instructor Dave Binks, ensures that those candidates requiring a placement are catered for.”

Dave manages the various training and assessment courses in Bradford with expert ease. He is a 20-year veteran of the gas fitting trade, both as an operative and as a training and education expert so he is perfect for the position, knowing exactly what these guys need and how to get the information across. Dave is supported on the ACS courses by Ian Welthy who is the head of Able Skills Gas department. Ian can frequently be found on the M1 journeying back and forth between Bradford and Dartford.

Mr Measures added that the vocational gas programme – which follows similar lines to the training offered at the Able Skills headquarters in Dartford – is an accessible and affordable route to an excellent professional career.

“In terms of financing the training, we offer our candidates the opportunity to pay as they train, putting up an initial, affordable deposit, but then paying up the rest over the course of their programme,” he explained. “We also operate on a no appointment basis, so anyone who has an interest in one of our courses is able to drop in to either the Bradford or the Dartford centres to find out more information and have a look around at what we have to offer.”

“Vokèra have been very supportive in helping to furnish both our Dartford and Bradford gas training centres,” he added. “They have provided a variety of boilers at discounted prices for students to train on and we are confident that these students will recommend Vokèra boilers to their customers once they are up and running as Gas Safe registered engineers."

The partnership between Able Skills and Vokèra was on show at the recent Retro Expo low carbon refurbishment trade show held at Birmingham’s NEC on 31 October-1 November. Both of the companies were able to highlight the training options that are contributing to making Vokèra engineers some of the very best in the industry and raising the standards of the new generation of engineers.