Employers are now able to enrol candidates from as early as September in the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS)’s new Compressed Air and Vacuum Technician apprenticeship.

This follows the selection of EAL, part of the Enginuity group, as the end point assessor organisation (EPAO).

The BCAS has worked with its members and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Education (IfATE) to develop the apprenticeship, which will consist of three years.

During the training, candidates will be taught how to commission compressed air and/or vacuum equipment and their associated systems. It will also include service and maintenance, fault diagnosis, repair and system optimisation.

The course itself will be mainly college-based in the first year, with practical engineering experience included. BCAS training courses will help apprentices develop transferrable skills.

Stating his delight at the hard work completed by the committee, Matthew Gould, elected chair, BCAS Training and Development Committee and the Compressed Air and Vacuum Technical Apprenticeship Trailblazer group, also said, “This standard ensures we have an industry-specific pathway for the introduction of the next generation of professionals, providing standardisation of their skills, competence, behaviours and safe working.”

“I encourage all employers in our industry to consider the recruitment of apprentices into this standard and, the committee very much looks forward to hearing about their progress and success.”

EAL will also provide rigorous assessment at the end of each stage of development.

According to Roy Brooks, Technical Development Officer, BCAS, the average age of a qualified engineer in the UK is currently at 48 years old.

He emphasised the importance of this apprenticeship in delivering engineers of the future.