Daikin UK National Skills Academy Manufacturer Hub launched

Published:  18 July, 2012

WEYBRIDGE: Daikin Airconditioning UK (Daikin UK) has joined forces with the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies to create its first national Manufacturer Hub.

The pioneering Daikin UK Manufacturer Hub is the first to be developed by the Skills Academy to provide bespoke training for an individual manufacturer’s products. It will complement and interact with the Skills Academy’s network to enable trainees to gain qualifications in air-to-water heat pump technology, allowing them to work towards MCS accreditation and be fully qualified to install Daikin renewable technology systems.

The Skills Academy provides training in the design, installation and maintenance of technologies such as solar thermal, photovoltaics, heat pumps and water harvesting and recycling. Comprising 23 ‘hub’ colleges, the Academy works to offer accredited environmental technologies training, all of which meets the requirements for MCS certification.

Daikin UK’s partnership with the National Skills Academy is two-fold. Firstly, its Platinum membership of the Skills Academy involves:

  • Providing equipment to hub and cluster centres
  • Helping to formulate training delivery documents
  • Future support to the Skills Academy, through marketing processes
  • Providing appropriate technical support, guidance and advice to assist the development of Skills Academy expertise
  • Input to Skills Academy Strategic Groups to support future environmental technology development
  • Encouraging installers to raise their competence levels
  • A key role in the Knowledge Transfer Steering Group

Secondly, Daikin's role as a Manufacturer Hub involves:

  • Developing a Daikin hub network of Skills Academy centres, initially covering England and Scotland offering training to ensure that all Daikin approved installers meet criteria for MCS, Green Deal and similar Competent Persons Schemes and have trained with, and gained competence with, Daikin specific products
  • Offering product specific training across the Daikin hub and spokes, with Daikin trainers providing product specific training at the hub and spoke locations, while the College or training provider partners providing generic training and appropriate up-skilling certification and assessment. The product specific training covers the installation and commissioning of all Daikin Altherma low temperature systems.

The Daikin UK Manufacturer hub will be based at all five vocational training partners with whom Daikin UK has already formed partnerships from 1st October 2012. These partners include City of Bath College, West Suffolk College, College of North West London, Dudley College and PGL Training in Exeter.

Graham Wright, Legislation Specialist, Daikin UK, said: “We are delighted to have entered this partnership, which we are sure will increase the number of MCS accredited installers in the UK. Daikin UK is firmly committed to Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation. Designed to offer assurances that products and services meet rigorous and consistent government standards, it goes some way to easing any end-user anxiety about adopting an innovative product or technology.

“As MCS accreditation is needed to take full advantage of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme (to be followed by the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive), more consumers will be able to take advantage of financial incentives to adopt renewable heating technologies.”

Dr Cathryn Hickey, executive director of the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies, said: “Welcoming Daikin to our network as our first manufacturer hub is a significant step for the National Skills Academy and we are delighted to be joining forces in this way.

“Daikin's evident commitment to high quality training aligns perfectly with our own objectives and their heat pumps expertise will be extremely valuable to the network. We look forward to working in partnership with them to upskill installers across the UK.”

Around 100 colleges, universities, manufacturers and other training providers across England and Wales are currently accredited under the National Skills Academy banner. Together they deliver a range of environmental technology courses that have been approved by SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering. Additional technologies such as biofuels and micro-CHP will be available in the near future.

Prior to undertaking the courses, trainees will be assessed to ensure they meet Daikin UK’s requirements before carrying out the product specific training. If the participant requires further training before embarking on the course, then the “spoke” training partners within the Daikin UK Hub (initially 10 spokes including five partner organisations of colleges and training partners) will help carry out that up-skilling to meet the requirements of an appropriate National Occupational Standards award.

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