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The CIPHE announces new Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard for plumbing apprentices

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) has announced the introduction of two industry-certified Plumbing Apprenticeship Standards for plumbing and heating apprentices. These new standards, once introduced, will create both Level 2 and Level 3 career entry points.

The launch of the Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard follows an extensive education survey* conducted by the CIPHE which gathered feedback from installers, educators and business owners within the industry. It found that the vast majority (89%) of respondents were in favour of introducing a Level 2 apprenticeship and advanced Level 3 apprenticeship.

The Level 2 Standard will allow apprentices to complete an End Point Assessment covering topics such as hot and cold water installations, as well as sanitation and rainwater systems.

Following on from the Level 2 standard is the Level 3 which introduces further assessment on advanced hot and cold water, low temperature hot water heating systems and plumbing/heating systems design. Once qualified, the apprentice may then undertake further training in low carbon technologies or gas installations.

The research was commissioned following discussions raised by employers and civil servants across government departments who expressed concern around the current education system and limited career openings. Further to this, there was a marked decline in college enrolments over the last twelve months, suggesting to all parties that urgent action was required to better support the needs of apprentices and their employers.

Kevin Wellman, Chief Executive Officer at the CIPHE, said: “The plumbing industry plays a critical role in delivering on issues ranging from water management and supply to net-zero. Therefore, providing adequate training and clear career pathways is of utmost importance when it comes to ensuring public safety and wellbeing, both now and in the future.

“In order to create more entry points for those looking to start a career in plumbing, whilst also ensuring competence, it has been critical to reflect on how business owners, apprentices and educators feel about the current system and how their needs are being met.

“To do so, we worked with various government departments to undertake extensive research, in the form of a survey and an employers group, to understand more about the support and opportunities they would like to see. It was clear that the industry wants to see the introduction of a Level 2 Standard as an additional opening into the industry that would both encourage young people to enrol onto a plumbing and heating course, whilst also encouraging businesses to create opportunities for the next generation of talent.

“In response to this, we have worked closely with the industry and government departments to design Level 2 and 3 Standards that will help to meet the needs of today’s apprentices and business owners. Creating opportunities is more important now than ever before given the critical role the industry plays in supporting the UK to transition to a low-carbon economy.

“This new education programme will offer clear career pathway opportunities, developing apprentices into tomorrow’s professionally registered engineers.”

The CIPHE is an educational charity dedicated to improving safety, health and wellbeing for consumers in receipt of plumbing services and a Professional Body for plumbing and heating engineers.

If you would like to be involved in the Plumbing Employers’ Group or are interested in becoming a member of the CIPHE, visit: https://www.ciphe.org.uk/professional/become-a-member/