17th Mar 2023
Over the last few weeks, our college Construction team have been busy installing our new Renewable Technology Suite at our Abingdon campus. The new facility is part of the College’s growing provision for Green Technology training, and it will shortly become an exciting hub for our Plumbing and Heating Apprentices, as well as for adults already working in the industry, as they train in green alternatives to traditional gas engineering.
The training suite includes a range of heat pumps, as well as an indoor roof installation, which will provide teaching space for rainwater harvesting and solar conversion technologies, including Solar PV systems and Solar Thermal systems.
The facility has been partially funded by OxLEP and Strategic Development Funding (SDF) as it will contribute to the Department for Education’s Local Skill Improvement Plan; a new government initiative to help education providers address the shortages in skills that local employers are looking for.
The Air to Water heat pumps installed were kindly provided by Worcester Bosch, a leading UK based heating and hot water products manufacturer, and installed by Aaron and Ben from B.Brill, a heating specialist company based in Milton Keynes. To our delight, Ben and Aaron were ex-students of Graham Hill, our Gas Centre Manager at our Bicester Campus.
As part of the installation process, and the College’s commitment to giving apprentices real life experience, Graham also brought five of his current students across from Bicester who installed the rainwater harvesting unit.
As the scope for renewable technologies grow, knowledge about these new products, their installation and maintenance are expected to become a standard requirement for newly qualified Plumbing and Heating Engineers. We’re delighted to now have the space and facilities to enable our students to stay at the forefront of the industry. As well as our apprenticeships and full-time courses, we are also offering introductory day courses for anyone who is interested and week-long conversion and top-up courses for already qualified gas engineers who want to upskill.
Want to see what you could learn? View our range of courses here.