New Apprenticeship

Level 3 Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician Apprenticeship Launched

Solid Fuel Apprenticeship

September saw the launch of the new four-year Level 3 Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician Apprenticeship. The new course enables apprentices to effectively combine several roles in the one apprenticeship and new Level 3 Standard offers them a choice of four pathways, including Natural Gas, solid fuel, oil and environmental technologies. HETAS Training & Technical Support Manager Mike Harvey introduces the new framework.

The Apprenticeship

The Level 3 Plumbing & Domestic Heating Technician Apprenticeship, which is one of the Trailblazer apprenticeships, is a 48-month programme designed to equip young people with the necessary skills to enter the industry. It is only available at Level 3; the apprentices will need to pass an End-Point Assessment to complete the apprenticeship.

Solid Fuel Apprenticeship Option

Candidates enrolling on the new Level 3 apprenticeship can choose to specialise their route. The new Level 3 Standard offers them a choice of four pathways:

  • Natural Gas,
  • Solid Fuel including Wood and Biomass
  • Oil
  • Environmental Technologies – which offers training in work with solar thermal, heat pumps and water recycling systems.

From September 2020 the Trailblazer Level 3 programme will become the standard. Financial support for this apprenticeship is up to £21,000 via government funding. For details on funding bands please visit the website.

Mike has been involved in the development of the new programme and also the development of T Levels, offering knowledge and expertise in plumbing & heating and solid fuel, wood and biomass.

Of the developments Mike comments:

It is pleasing to see solid fuel, wood and biomass being reintroduced to the educational framework for apprentices through the new Level 3 Plumbing & Domestic Heating Technician Apprenticeship and for those undertaking the new T Level qualifications in Building Services Engineering

HETAS has played a vital role in this development and HETAS Approved training centres, as centres of excellence in the delivery of solid fuel courses, will be utilised for the delivery of the solid fuel pathway. Attracting new entrants to the industry with a high level of knowledge across the plumbing and heating sector will be welcome.


Once completed, apprentices are able to claim EngTech status from the Engineering Council, adding further to the credibility of the apprenticeship. Candidates completing the solid fuel apprenticeship pathway will also be able to join the HETAS competent person scheme, subject to meeting the registration criteria and inspections as required.

Additionally, on completion of the health and safety assessment, as determined, by the assessment plan the candidate will have satisfied the requirements to obtain a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Card through the Joint Industry Board for Plumbing and Mechanical Engineering Services (JIB-PMES) at the appropriate grade.

Further Details

For full details on the new Apprenticeship, Level 3 Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician, visit the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website.

Click here to find out about the current range of HETAS training courses and network of training centres.

T Levels

T Levels are a brand new, 2-year qualification that provide a learner with a head start towards the future they want. They follow GCSE’s and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels; Students undertake a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during their industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

Mike has been actively involved working with the Department for Education for the past 2 years advising and developing the qualifications alongside other T Level panel members.

The Building Services Engineering T Level starts in September 2021; designed to enable students to understand the core knowledge of how the construction industry works, the principles of design and the role of technology and sustainability. Leading to the opportunity to specialise in the engineering associated with at least one of the areas below:

  • air conditioning
  • electrical and electronic equipment
  • electrotechnical
  • gas
  • heating
  • plumbing
  • protection systems
  • refrigeration

More Information

Visit the Department for Education (DfE) for more information on T Levels.

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