Are fast-track training courses harming the industry?

Are fast-track training courses harming the industry?
In the latest edition of the new monthly column, the Secret Installer looks at fast-track training courses, and how they affect the quality of work in the industry.

I just cannot understand how people can think they can be qualified to do anything in just six weeks. Whether it be a doctor, an air traffic controller or even a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

It just isn’t possible, is it?

I was an apprentice for three years, and I should imagine most of you were apprentices to someone for at least 18 months.

And even at the end of my three-year apprenticeship, the next two years were still a steep learning curve when it came to carrying out servicing and breakdowns in the real world.

I heard of a guy who works for a large national company who carried out a one-year apprenticeship. He learnt how to identify an “Immediately Dangerous” appliance, and he learnt to tie a piece of red ribbon around the gas pipe to show that this appliance was ID. But he was never shown how to even cut that pipe and actually physically cap that pipe off. How does that benefit anyone?

Clearly the companies who charge upwards of £5,000 for a six-week fast-track course are quite happy to bank the money, and Gas Safe are happy to give these people a registration as long as they meet the very minimum criteria.

But that most certainly does not make it right. It makes it very wrong and potentially very dangerous. Sooner or later, a fast-tracked engineer will cause a serious, life-threatening situation.

I am firmly of the opinion that these “fast trackers” should need at least three years of experience to build a portfolio if they have no existing plumbing qualifications.

In that time, they can gain knowledge on the job and learn the safe, correct way.

Once again, money talks, and safety walks.

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