The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) is seeking feedback on its draft occupational apprenticeship standard for a Compressed Air and Vacuum Technician (CAVT); and is asking businesses to get involved to ensure the standard meets the needs of the wider industry.

As part of the due diligence process, any new apprenticeship must go out to consultation. BCAS has compiled a proposed occupations profile, which should be read first and can be accessed before completing a short, online questionnaire which can be accessed at The consultation is open until 1st September 2019, after which time, the Group will review feedback and consider where amendments should be made.  

The occupational standard will then be submitted to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to seek approval prior to drafting the apprenticeship end-point assessment plan.

Vanda Jones, BCAS executive director explains: “BCAS is the only UK trade association with responsibility for the compressed air and vacuum industry and its business sectors. We recognised that there has been no dedicated apprenticeship available for the future development of engineering technicians into our industry. Recognising the need to fill this skills gap, a Trailblazer group was formed and working with our members and the IfATE, we have developed a draft occupational standard for a Compressed Air and Vacuum Technician (CAVT).

“As a trade body, we are ideally placed to form the working groups to develop the apprenticeship but we also recognise that in this instance we are not creating an apprenticeship for our members alone but for the wider industry. As such we need to consult and ensure that the apprenticeship is fit for purpose and are asking our peers and colleagues to get involved. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and in doing so, the feedback will help ensure that this apprenticeship standard meets the training needs of the occupation, and that new apprenticeships are viable, high quality, and widely supported. 

And finally, the development of a wider industry apprenticeship will help to release the funding available from the apprenticeship levy, supporting all businesses in developing the engineers of the future that our industry, like so many others, needs urgently.”

About the CAVT apprenticeship

Applicants will be trained to a high standard and are required to support their employer to supply, install and maintain industrial low and high pressure compressed air systems, as well as industrial low-pressure blower and vacuum systems.

During the apprenticeship process they will acquire and develop their knowledge and practical skills and apply these during their work-based learning. They will be expected to adhere to good engineering practices with specific emphasis on customer care and responsive actions. By successfully completing the apprenticeship, they will obtain an apprenticeship certificate.

The apprenticeship will require rigorous and substantial training of approximately 36-months to achieve full competence, of which at least 20 per cent will be off-the-job training, the remaining 80 per cent will be based in employment, learning on the job. 

The apprentices will have the competences to perform complex manual tests to a high degree of accuracy and precision and to undertake interpretative technical tests as appropriate. They must have the ability to pay close attention to detail and work alone and within a team. They will also be required to prioritise work through good time management and organisational skills, with the ability to achieve demanding tasks and objectives against deadlines while adhering to all health and safety requirements. They must be able to lead and support during their development and have excellent oral and written communication skills. 

The draft occupations’ profile shows what an apprentice will be doing, and the skills required of him/her, by job role. Standards are developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers’. 

About the draft occupational profile

The Trailblazer group would be grateful for feedback on the draft CAVT occupational profile. In particular, if there are any suggestions on the overall apprenticeship requirements, the duties and the skills required which may improve the recommendations further. The occupations profile can be viewed at 

To complete the consultation survey, please go to