The City of Liverpool College and Vital Energi join forces to support net zero targets

Vital Energi has partnered with The City of Liverpool College for the second year to deliver bespoke renewable energy and heat network apprenticeship programmes across the country.

Scaling up heat networks and generating energy from renewable technologies is at the heart of the Government’s plans to boost the UK’s energy security and achieve the country’s Net Zero target by 2050. To achieve this, 18% of heat will need to come from heat networks. As it stands today, connections to heat networks represents just 2%, so we need the resource and skills to deliver this infrastructure.

In response to this, Vital – which has over 30 years’ experience in delivering heat networks – is joining forces with The City of Liverpool College, which will deliver the curriculum from the £2m state-of-the-art Training Academy located at Vital’s Blackburn headquarters, for two pathways: Craft and Technical.

Both pathways will enable apprentices to learn and work within the renewable energy and heat networks market. They will discover how energy is generated and distributed, and how to manage and reduce consumption for residential and commercial clients. Apprentices will also learn how carbon emissions are reduced through Vital’s renewable technologies and the innovative products they have developed.

The initiative follows an incredibly successful first year for the programmes, which demonstrate the organisations’ commitments to developing the key industry skills required to achieve net zero and create a sustainable workforce to shape the energy landscape for the future.

Liverpool City Region has an ambition to reach net zero carbon by 2040 and The City of Liverpool College is focussed on developing its curriculum around the needs of industry, creating a workforce for the future by developing the skills needed to enter the world of work in sustainable careers.

Lindsay Meadows, Head of Apprenticeships at The City of Liverpool College, said, “Our partnership with Vital Energi is built on the knowledge and skills of its engineers and our innovative curriculum leaders at The City of Liverpool College.

“Working with progressive, exciting organisations such as Vital Energi helps us to continue to innovate and provide our students with the skills they need to enter the workforce and forge successful, sustainable careers.

“The apprenticeships will play an essential role in developing the skills needed to deliver our low carbon future, while giving apprentices the skills and knowledge they need to thrive and forge sustainable careers in the industry.”

The programmes will be delivered via a blended mix of virtual online teaching and a minimum of 25 days curriculum learning each year within the Training Academy. Apprentices will spend the majority of their time on-site working on real projects, where they will pick up a wealth of skills through hands-on experience and support from Vital’s expert team.

During the three-year Craft programme, apprentices will study for a Level 3 Building Services Engineering Craftsperson qualification. They will learn a range of key skills from pipework fabrication and jointing techniques such as electro fusion jointing, to welding, the installation of plumbing and heating systems, and more.

At the end of the Technical programme, apprentices will achieve a Level 3 Building Services Design Technician qualification, after developing their understanding of building services design principles.

Chris Roach, a site-based Project Manager at Vital Energi, started his career journey at The City of Liverpool College when he was 18 years old, where he completed a four-year Mechanical Building Engineering apprenticeship. He studied Building Services Engineering in the first two years before focussing on Mechanical Building Services Engineering in the last two.

As well as achieving a HND, Chris won the North West HVAC Student Engineer of the year in 2005, and the National CIBSE HVAC Student Engineer of the year in 2005. His hard work and determination throughout his apprenticeship formed a solid platform for his future career.

Chris Roach, Project Manager at Vital Energi, said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time as an apprentice at The City of Liverpool College, and as well as gaining a wealth of skills through hands on experience and support from tutors, it allowed me to discover the career path I wanted to follow.

“I strongly believe that my apprenticeship formed a great foundation for my career path. Here at Vital, we’re working on exciting projects across the whole of the UK to help our clients reach net zero. We’ve connected over 82,000 homes to heat networks so far and in my opinion, there is no better time to join us!”

During the three-year Craft programme, apprentices will study for a Level 3 Building Services Engineering Craftsperson qualification. They will learn a range of key skills from pipework fabrication and jointing techniques such as electro fusion jointing, to welding, the installation of plumbing and heating systems, and more.

On his experience of the programme, Harvey Hudson, Technical Apprentice, commented, “As well as a better understanding of the job and career, spending time in a variety of departments has helped broaden my knowledge of the industry and the many different aspects required for a successful project.

“I’m also able to gain valuable, practical experience and learn from site-based professionals, which I know will help me to hit the ground running in my career.”

At the end of the Technical programme, apprentices will achieve a Level 3 Building Services Design Technician qualification, after developing their understanding of building services design principles.

Vital Energi is working on nationwide projects and are looking to recruit apprentices from all over the UK. To find out more about the apprenticeship programmes and to apply, visit: https://www.vitalenergi.co.uk/careers/apprenticeship-programmes/

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