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PM announces electrotechnical apprentice standard

04 March, 2014

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced an electrotechnical apprenticeship standard as one of 11 sector-based standards that will act as blueprints for new apprenticeships, guided by companies from each sector.

The first phase of the “trailblazer” standards, involving more than 80 employers in eight sectors, was announced in October 2013. The Government has now published the first 11 standards.

Speaking at The Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, the Prime Minister welcomed the publication of the standards, as well as announcing a second phase of 29 trailblazers involving more than 340 employers, responsible for at least 45,000 apprenticeship starts during 2012/13.

The reformed apprenticeships will be:

♦  employer-led and designed to respond to the needs of industry;

♦  focused on quality, with the apprentices having to demonstrate their ability through assessments at the end of their apprenticeships; and

♦  based on a short, clear standards written by employers in language that they understand.

The electrotechnical trailblazer apprenticeship standard has been developed by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in consultation with more than 300 employers, most of which were small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

“The vision behind the new trailblazer standard is to increase the standard of apprentices in this sector as well as clearly signposting progression routes onto professional qualifications such as Engineering Technician and Chartered Engineer,” explains Michelle Richmond, the IET’s director of membership and professional development.

Input from the SME employers was crucial to make sure that the standard is workable at grassroots level and could boost numbers of apprentices and training quality, providing learners with the right level of competence.

“SMEs dominate the industry, and the group that developed the standard reflected this,” Richmond adds. “While they are not household names, in the main, the employers on the group are recognised in the industry for their commitment to the development of their staff and their commitment to apprenticeships.”

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills asked the IET to lead the electrotechnical trailblazer project, because of its links to business and education.

“We want to see apprenticeships become the new norm for all ambitious young people, and employers who are dedicated to growing their own talent and increasing the skills base of the nation,” says skills and enterprise minister, Matthew Hancock. “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved this trailblazer for their commitment to apprenticeships and traineeships.”




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