May 17, 2023

Who needs university when apprenticeships are better? WCoP annual lecture

BPEC’s CEO, Neil Collishaw was one of the keynote speakers at this week’s Worshipful Company of Plumbers 38th Annual Lecture which had the crucial theme of “Who needs university when apprenticeships are better?”

This event was extremely successful with 130 delegates, including key industry leaders from across the country, Robin Walker MP, chair of the Commons Education Select Committee, and representatives from the plumbing & heating delivery network, including Smart Gas Training & Assessment (one of BPEC’s approved centres).

The total of three keynote speakers were drawn from across the industry, Neil representing education and training, Carl Arntzen, CEO of Worcester Bosch for manufacturing, and Kevin Wellman, CEO of CIPHE, the plumbing and heating professionals. 

Their engaging presentations highlighted the benefits of paid apprenticeships versus university for those who begin their careers by gaining real work-related skills and getting fully qualified whilst remaining debt free.

“It was an absolute pleasure and honour to share the stage with my fellow CEOs, Carl and Kevin! Hearing their perspectives, insights and contributions made for a dynamic and stimulating debate that truly showcased the power of industry collaboration,” Neil said.

Neil’s presentation highlighted the current skills shortage and the need to attract more plumbing and heating apprentices. He empathised that plumbing and heating engineers must have the knowledge and skills to provide the right advice and guidance to customers on what are the most appropriate and energy efficient options to heat their homes now and in the future.

Neil concludes, “I was also delighted to witness several young industry ambassadors receive scrolls of excellence awards at the event, one being Ruben Duggan our SkillPLUMB 2022 Gold Medallist!”

You can find more information the Worshipful Company of Plumbers here