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Heating body pushes for training fund

THE HEATING and Ventilating Contractors' Association has called for a statutory training fund to cover the entire building services sector.

Chief executive Robert Higgs said: 'We need a complete approach to support areas of training that are not covered by the public purse.' HVCA members voted to pull out of the CITB-ConstructionSkills training levy in 1989 but the trade association is in discussions with the plumbing, electrotechnical and refrigeration sectors over the proposal, which could cover as many as 10,000 firms.

The fund would be paid for by clients through a small percentage added to invoices and estimates, similar to a model used in Australia. It would cover elements such as health and safety training and refrigerant handling.

Tony Thomas, the HVCA's employment and training director, said: 'Our members have given the idea overwhelming support but it's fair to say there has been more resistance from other sectors. We are continuing our discussions and we are optimistic.'