Pool & spa apprenticeship program unveiled
PSAA aims to use vigorous efforts to address the shortage of qualified employees
The pool and spa service industry is as busy as it has ever been, but service companies report that finding qualified service technicians remains a challenge. In California, however, the labor pool will soon be expanding with the newly created Pool and Spa Apprenticeship Academy (PSAA).
According to David Hawes, Pool and Spa Apprenticeship and Training Committee Chairman (PSATC), in January, 2021, the academy will be enrolling apprentices in a program that will expand the workforce, enhance the professionalism of the pool and spa service industry and provide employers with skilled journeymen.
“For many years, we have needed to provide an organized opportunity for those seeking a career path in the pool and spa service industry. We have embarked on an ambitious plan to develop a program and a structured learning environment with a wellrounded curriculum – our Pool and Spa Apprenticeship Academy (PSAA). We aim to train employees and individuals seeking to become pool & hot tub maintenance specialists and service technicians,” Hawes said.
Apprentices will be recruited from several different areas, including high schools, veterans’ administrations, community colleges, job fairs, community and business support events,
The Pool and Spa Apprenticeship program is a newly created training academy for pool and spa service technicians. The program is a joint effort between IPSSA, UPA and The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance. as well as the California Employment Development Department and the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards. The PSATC intends to work with job placement agencies and have a strong online presence to help in these efforts.
There is no cost to the apprentice, who is enrolled through interested sponsors who support the training and program costs.
Javier Payan, CEO of Payan Pool Service, in El Cajon, California, said he wants to be the first employer to sign on as an apprenticeship sponsor.
“For me the number one benefit is that it will help enhance the professionalism of our employees – which is paramount as we look for ways to grow our business by emphasizing the quality of our workforce. This program is designed to confirm qualifications, reduce turnover, build employee confidence and foster a team and company pride,” Payan said.
Apprentices will be enrolled in a yearlong program, consisting of 2000 hours of on-the-job training alongside a skilled journeyman service technician, as well as 144 hours of supplemental instruction. Currently, supplemental instruction will be online, as a combination of live and pre-recorded industry and manufacturerbased training courses. Apprentices are paid at least minimum wage, or higher if the employer so chooses.
The Apprenticeship Academy is registered with the California Department of Industrial Relations through the Division of Apprenticeship Standards, which creates opportunities for Californian’s to obtain employment skills and provides employers with a highly trained and motivated work force.
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