Today we’re talking to Tom, who is now a fully qualified Installation Engineer at Direct Air, as he recently completed his EAL Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installation & Commissioning at MGTS College after just 8 months of working on the course!

Tom began his journey at Direct Air on a different path to the one he’s on now, so lets find out how he’s getting on almost 5 years after joining the company. We asked him some questions, keep reading to see what he had to say…

Tom’s working journey

Tom joined Direct Air in June 2019, he originally started learning an Engineering role in the Service department. However, as he gained experience and explored different areas of the business such as Pipefitting, Tom and his managers noticed how well he worked as part of the Installation team.

What did the NVQ course involve?

The EAL Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installation & Commissioning course consists of theory and practical assignments, which allowed me to showcase my capability of carrying out the required work competently. This included demonstrating the installation and commissioning of compressed air equipment and systems.

During my practical assessment, I displayed my skills by working on the installation of a compressed air system inside of a metal container. The container was being fitted out with a full system by the Installation team, including myself, before being delivered to the customers site as a plug and play solution! The photos below show a sneak peak of our work on the container.


What skills and knowledge did you learn?

Some of the key areas I learnt about and developed my knowledge further on were Health & Safety aspects. As I have worked at Direct Air for almost 5 years now, I understand the dangers of working in the compressed air industry, but the NVQ course gave me a chance to show that I am able to work safely – specifically in the Installation department.

Other skills I refined during my NVQ include the ability to interpret compressed air system drawings. This is specifically useful as Direct Air has an inhouse CAD engineering team working in our Projects department. Having the ability to confidently work from the CAD drawings as a Installation Engineer, means that I am able to work closely with the Projects team. This creates smoother processes which is really important, especially for big project installations. Working with the drawings means I also have a better understanding of the design of compressed air systems.

Overall, the NVQ has helped me learn and showcase my skills on installing and commissioning compressed air systems efficiently.

How has the course helped you to progress in your career?

Completing the EAL Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installation & Commissioning qualification has enabled me to get a Gold CSCS card. This has allowed me to progress massively in my career, as the Gold CSCS card paired with my SSSTS qualification means I am able to be supervisor on construction sites.

This milestone provides me with much more independence as I’m able to attend sites and carry out work alone and/or with a colleagues less qualified than myself such as Apprentice Installation Engineers, as I’m now able to supervise them.

On top of all of this, successfully completing the NVQ course has given me confidence in myself that I’m capable to do my job role well. I’m really looking forward to continuing my learning in the future with further manufacturing training.