A new training centre that is set to help hundreds of gas engineers from across the country secure essential qualifications and apprenticeships has been launched.

The Liberate Academy, in Salford, opened its doors earlier this month with the first group of engineers passing through the state-of-the-art facility.

The academy, which has been launched by Liberty Group, includes an Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) testing centre that is open to gas operatives looking to renew their ACS certificates or take the course for the first time.

ACS accreditation is compulsory for all gas engineers in the industry. However, research from the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors shows 1.1 million jobs are carried out each year by fitters without the proper qualifications.

Ivy Hughes, who heads up the Liberate Academy, said: “We’re delighted to launch this state-of-the-art academy which we hope will have a major impact on training across the industry. Liberate will offer a wealth of training opportunities to operatives from businesses up and down the country, including Liberty’s employees.”

Derek Corbishley, Managing Director of Liberty, said: “All Liberty Group gas engineers hold the ACS certificate and carry out up to date training. Liberate will provide us with a new home for our training and make sure we can continue to invest in our staff by providing access to new skills, qualifications and best practice.”

Michelle Holdsworth, age 31 from Bradford, is the first engineer to undertake her ACS training in the brand new Liberate Academy.

Michelle said: “The new centre is fantastic. There is a friendly environment and it makes for a positive training experience. What’s really good about the Liberate Academy is the one-to-one support from the assessors – this made me feel confident that I was getting everything out of the training I would need.”

Liberate’s ACS centre is supported by major gas technology providers who have kitted out the centre with top of the range equipment worth around £10,000.

Liberty is an award winning multi-disciplinary property services specialist offering market-leading expertise in gas heating and electrical installations, building maintenance and renewable energies to clients nationwide.

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