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NPTC Group of Colleges has become the first College in Europe to run fire sprinkler courses.

It follows recent legislation by the Welsh Government which will from January 1, 2016 require any new build for domestic and residential properties to have a fire suppression system fitted – Wales is one of the first countries to legislate this.

The College has been working alongside the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) to develop an up-skilling award for people already in the industry and also a qualification for people wanting to come into the industry to gain an apprenticeship-style qualification which will be available next year.

The training programme runs across four days at the Swansea Campus in Llansamlet and combines both theory and practical elements to ensure trainees have an understanding of the regulations and industry standards for installation. A number of engineers from sprinkler companies in England have already been trained ready for the new legislation. The workshops have been fitted with training bays where trainees can install, maintain and fault find on domestic sprinkler systems.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Julie James launched the scheme and said she was delighted to visit the Campus and meet the staff and students.

Chief Executive Officer of NPTC Group, Mark Dacey, said: “We have recognised the need for practical vocational training in this field and have already secured the services of an experienced fire sprinkler engineer. We are the first College in Europe to develop such training - so another first for Wales. However, we could not do this on our own, and we are very pleased to be working alongside BAFSA in this innovative development."

"I would also like to thank the staff and management team at the School of Building Engineering Services who have led, over the past few years, on a number of innovative developments including these fire sprinkler courses.”