High hopes for trailblazing design apprenticeship

A group of leading employers in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector have had their proposal approved for a trailblazing apprenticeship scheme for design engineers and are now starting work on the details of this new Higher Level apprenticeship specification.

The new Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps (RACHP) Design and Applications Engineer apprenticeship is the first specific RACHP Design Engineer apprenticeship standard to be prepared.

The trailblazing scheme is being backed 11 key industry-leading employers with the support of industry body the Institute of Refrigeration. Orwell Design Associates, specialist refrigeration design consultancy providers, is one of the trailblazers supporting the apprenticeship. Orwell Design Associates (ODA), which is part of Space Engineering Services, delivers bespoke solutions to customers of all sizes in the UK and across Europe.

ODA’s Design Director, Roger Mapperley, said:

“The new trailblazing apprenticeship scheme will offer a new learning and development route into the design side of our industry, making it an exciting opportunity for budding engineers in the future.”

Crucially, the new apprenticeship will play a vital role in supporting the next generation of RACHP engineers to follow a career in this field, which offers fantastic prospects and high levels of technical expertise. With the lack of design engineers available posing a serious concern for the industry, this apprenticeship marks a significant step forward towards helping address this skills gap.

Employers are now developing the standard for the higher level apprenticeship scheme, which will emphasise knowledge of the application of advanced science and principles, as well as manufacturing and design issues. The development programme is likely to take a further year and it is hoped that a range of Universities and colleges will take up the opportunity to offer new courses in association with employers in the future.

To find out more, visit www.ior.org.uk. Be sure to check back on our News page regularly for updates on progress of the apprenticeship scheme as it develops.