Training for the future

To ensure K2 has the right kind of employees, they took the decision to move the training in-house a few years ago.

Their latest recruit, 16-year-old Eddie Birds, is busy learning the ropes with qualified engineers and is loving the experience.

Eddie said: “I’m really enjoying it. I work on everything to do with air-conditioning and go out on jobs with the engineer.

“I get to work in a range of environments - from jewellers, shops, schools, offices, banks, and houses.

“I have definitely learnt a lot in the last four months. I have learnt to service and to help on the installs.

“At the end of the two years, I will get an NVQ qualification in level 2 air conditioning and refrigeration.

“It’s great to see a business giving young people an opportunity. Once I have my qualification I really want to stick with it because I enjoy it so much.”

Scott Belfield, owner of K2 Heating and Cooling Solutions said: “Taking on apprentices is a way of ensuring staff are the right fit for the company.

“Engineers with qualifications aren’t always suitable, “Four years ago we decided to train everybody ourselves.

“Every apprentice we have had has ended up being a really good engineer because they know how we work and what’s expected of them, and they fit into the team because they have been moulded.

“They go from knowing nothing and learning the work on the job. We invest in them as people and give them the skills for the future.

“Some of the apprentices we have trained are now full time qualified engineers with us.”

At the end of the two year apprenticeship they receive a City and Guilds Air Conditioning and Refrigeration qualification.

The course includes one day a week at college where they learn the theory and practical subjects, and they build up their portfolio of work on the job with the company.

Scott said: “It’s early days for Eddie but he’s a very nice, polite lad who’s very keen and eager to learn.”