Demand heats up; Centre is a success.
The state-of-the-art gas training centre at Darlington College is hoping that even more applicants will be in the pipeline for 2008 after announcing plans to expand the department in the New Year.
The new assessment centre is open to students training to become plumbers, installers and service experts, as well as to private businesses in the region.
It also allows new recruits to become Corgi approved and current staff and experienced plumbers to be reassessed.
Tutor in plumbing and gas technology Ben Buckley said: "The new centre is already proving a great asset to the college.
"Our first intake of candidates have all passed their assessments and now that we have received accreditation to run even more modules we will be looking to assess about 100 next year."
The centre features the latest in gas appliances, including fires, cookers and boilers, which can be deliberately rigged with faults which the engineers have to trace and rectify under the watchful eye of assessors on CCTV. It is one of a handful of assessment centres in the region.
Plumbing and installation experts working with gas are required by law to re-register every five years for their CCN1 certificate, irrespective of their length of service.
The Government's Health and Safety Executive maintains a register of competent gas installers in Great Britain.
Gas technician tutor Tom Ankers added: "We offer a wide range of assessment modules and can tailor make a course suitable to each individual which, depending upon skill requirements, can take from one day to one week to assess.
"Anyone fitting gas appliances without a CCN1 is breaking the law so to have an assessment centre on the doorstep in Darlington is a real boost to local plumbing businesses."
TRAINERS: Plumbing tutors are turning up the heat at the new gas assessment centre at Darlington College. From left, Ben Buckley, technician Colin Troddan and tutor Tom Ankers