• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

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Thermal Insulation Contractors Association anticipates record rise in thermal insulation apprentices

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Trade body the Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA) has succeeded in doubling its annual intake of apprentices.

It enrolled 52 apprentices across England in 2020/21, 56 in 2021/22, 114 in 2022/23 at its national training centre in Darlington and is on track to exceed that record-breaking figure in 2024/25.

TICA has also seen an increase in Scottish apprentices, with 20 enrolling between 2020 and 2023 to 43 in 2023/24 alone.

The demand for skilled apprentices from employers has been fuelled by a boom in construction projects, combined with a post-Brexit exodus of EU workers, which has created a skills gap.

Last year it also launched an East Midlands pilot scheme to attract more women to join the traditionally male-dominated sector, including staging ‘taster’ sessions.

Prior to 2023 it trained on average just one female insulator every three years. This year it has enrolled a total of eight women onto the training course, four as a direct result of the pilot scheme, and four recruited by employers.

The trade body has continued to promote the industry, both liaising with members and attending careers fairs and colleges up and down the country.

In the past 12 months TICA has also joined the European Industrial Insulation Foundation (EiiF), which promotes best practice and the use of industrial insulation as an accepted means of achieving sustainability, together with Construction Industry Collective Voice (CICV) in Scotland, a coalition of trades and professional bodies, which campaigns on important issues including skills and health and safety.

Marion Marsland, CEO of TICA, said: “We are succeeding in changing attitudes and there is a realisation, particularly among some of the larger employers, that gender is immaterial, they simply need people with the right aptitudes who are willing to learn and we have found females are just as interested and adept at becoming an insulator as males.

“In addition to the pilot scheme, TICA is also continuing to raise the profile of the sector in general and promoting thermal insulation as a well-paid and interesting career that offers plenty of opportunities for progression.

Established in 1957, TICA represents contractors throughout the UK involved in the application of hot and cold thermal insulation and hosts apprentices for two week blocks of training every three months, for between 18 and 24 months.