Ideal Standard International has announced that it is funding a new UK apprenticeship scheme in order to support the next generation of plumbers. Working with the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA), the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), and design education body FIESTA, the manufacturer aims to address the plumbing industry’s skills gap and attract much-needed new talent into the sector. This scheme comes at a time when plumbing apprenticeships have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with one in 10 apprentices losing their jobs.
Ideal Standard is set to provide funding for a number of apprenticeship positions offered by businesses within the CIPHE network to help young people gain the knowledge, skills and experience to begin a career in plumbing. Training will be carried out by some of the top learning providers in the UK, carefully selected from the CIPHE Approved Training Centre network. Ideal Standard will also work with colleges to set the standard for training, ensuring that apprentices are fully equipped to succeed in the trade.
The company will be providing hands-on support for local apprenticeships going through the scheme around its sites in Hull, Armitage and London and is calling for businesses within the sector to come forward to sponsor placements. The scheme uses funding from the government’s Apprenticeship Levy and Ideal Standard is gifting a proportion of its share of this fund to provide financial support to smaller companies so they can take on an apprentice at this challenging time.
David Barber, MD of Ideal Standard UK, pictured, said: “This scheme is the first of its kind within the industry. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity to lead the way in investing in young talent and apprentices as they begin their careers in the plumbing and heating industry. I hope that other organisations will see the benefits of the scheme and get involved in supporting our future plumbers. For employers who are concerned about any managerial obligations this may bring, the Ideal Standard team will provide support throughout.”
Kevin Wellman, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering added: “This initiative comes at a time when plumbing apprenticeships have been hit by the global pandemic and we were already faced with a skills shortage in the industry. Members of the CIPHE are in prime position to provide the necessary opportunities for new apprentices and, in turn, benefit from a level of support from the CIPHE and a major industry manufacturer that they could only usually dream of.“