Revamped apprenticeships will put employers in the driving seat so they can deliver the skills businesses need.
Plans published today by the Government outline a new approach to apprenticeships, which will give employers the power to create new apprenticeship standards to make sure each learner has the skills required by the sector.
Apprentices will have to demonstrate their ability through rigorous assessment at the end of their apprenticeship and they will be graded on completion – receiving a pass, merit, or distinction – to mark the level of achievement.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “If you want an apprenticeship, we’re going to make sure you do the best apprenticeship in the world. The reforms we’re announcing today will put employers in the driving seat and ensure that we deliver rigorous training that supports you and our economy for years to come.”
More than 60 companies will be involved in groups known as Trailblazers which will cover a range of sectors: aerospace, automotive, digital industries, electro-technical, energy, financial services, food and drink, and life and industrial sciences
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) will be taking a lead role within the electro-technical trailblazer, which will develop the standards for Installation Electrician and Maintenance Electrician. Other companies involved include Balfour Beatty, National Grid and the Joint Industry Board for the Electrical Contracting Industry.
Michelle Richmond, IET director of Membership and Professional Development, said: “The Trailblazers initiative is a real step forward for Apprenticeships because it means that a range of engineering sectors will have simplified and consistent Apprenticeship standards and the assessment approaches that sit alongside them.
“Professional bodies like the IET will play a crucial role in Trailblazers to ensure that achieving an Apprenticeship signifies that an individual is ready to secure professional registration, such as Engineering Technician or ICT Technician where that is available. The IET is uniquely placed to lead this trailblazer because of our work in setting the wiring regulations standard.”
The IET is also part of the aerospace, energy and Utilities and food & drink manufacturing Trailblazers.
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “I am very pleased that the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has chosen to be at the forefront of our Apprenticeship reforms. This is great opportunity to be a Trailblazer, building on existing successes to lay the foundations for rigorous and easily understood apprenticeships that will help Britain compete in the global race.
“Our aim is that the new Apprenticeships will focus squarely on rigorous training for learners and simplicity of use for large and small employers, who will be in the driving seat of Apprenticeships in future. This will mean that our Apprenticeship system will respond better to the needs of the modern economy.”