Gas engineers were out in force at Redcar and Cleveland College as part of a drive to help fuel future skills.
British Gas has supplied and fitted a whopping £20,000 worth of equipment and man-hours to help revamp the college’s T Level workshop.
“As a business we commit to giving two days a year of volunteering for good causes,” said Mike Priest, British Gas’s operational field lead for the hydrogen village trial.
“As we are working with Northern Gas Networks for the Hydrogen Village Trial, we have made a further commitment to help give back to the wider community.”
Approached by the college’s work placement co-ordinator, Helen Mahoney, to ask if British Gas could help provide opportunities for students, Mike said working with the college to help build future skills felt like the ideal fit.
And what better way to lend a meaningful helping hand than overhauling the college’s training facilities to ensure students are developing the practical and theoretical knowledge by working on industry-standard equipment to prepare them for real industry demand?
Putting the call out to supply partners, brand-new boilers, hot water cylinders and heating control panels were donated to the college from Vaillant, Ideal, Centrica Hive, Gledhill, Worcester Bosch and Baxi.
And 20 British Gas staff, including gas and heating engineers, many from the surrounding area, stepped up to give their time and expertise to help fit the equipment.
With the college offering a brand-new T Level in Building Services and Gas Engineering, Mike said: “What students now see in the workshop is what they will be fitting and maintaining in the real world.”
As for the engineers, he added: “Heating and gas engineers are often lone workers, so volunteer days, getting everyone together and helping each other, are a chance to create a real teamwork ethic.”
Redcar and Cleveland College’s work placement co-ordinator, Helen, said: “The commitment made by British Gas to our students, revamping the workshop facilities and giving their time and expertise, is extraordinary and will make a massive difference to our future gas engineers as they develop the skills of their trade.
“Donations from British Gas supply partners mean that our workshops now match what our students will be seeing in people’s homes.
“The college has a massive part to play in building the future workforce, particularly in essential trades such as gas and heating engineering, and this partnership with British Gas offers our students a massive head start.”