In response to a strong demand for a skilled technician workforce the government has approved a number of Apprenticeships Standards today.
Alongside the release of the new standards, the government is also launching a creative campaign to position the new trailblazer apprenticeships as the ‘norm’ to young people, using real apprentices working in varied sectors sharing their own thoughts and experiences across social media sites.
One of the first to benefit will be the companies in the Technician Apprenticeship Consortium [TAC], a collaboration between engineering consultancy firms to enable them to meet their business needs through the recruitment and training of technician apprentices. The consortium supported by the Association for Consultancy & Engineering [ACE] works with over 50 companies across the UK.
Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills and Equalities, said today; “I’m delighted that the Technician Apprenticeship Consortium has led the development of a new apprenticeship standard for a Railway Engineering Design Technician.
“Since 2010 there have been 1.8 million apprenticeship starts and the Technician Apprenticeship Consortium is leading by example in the development and delivery of high quality apprenticeships that give people the chance of successful careers and help businesses get the skills they need to grow.”
TAC led the development of the Railway Engineering Design Technician Apprenticeship Standard which is one of the Apprenticeship Standards published today. It was developed by employers to meet the challenges of improving the UK’s rail infrastructure and expand the pool of skilled technicians to succeed an ageing workforce of existing engineers.
Dr Nelson Ogunshakin, OBE chief executive at ACE explained the rationale around its support of the Technician Apprenticeship Consortium:
“TAC is an example of a very successful industry-led initiative guiding over 700 young people into apprenticeship places in its first four years of operation. It is clear to me that the optimism of ACE member companies, large and small, is tempered by a concern that they are finding it difficult and expensive to recruit and retain the highly skilled staff they need to deliver their projects. With an ageing workforce and a potential shortage of graduates the situation is only going to get worse. The sector as a whole urgently needs to find new ways to access and train the next generation of professional engineers”.
Key to the success of the developing the Railway Engineering Design Technician Apprenticeship Standard was the support of the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering [NASRE]. Elaine Clark, Head of Training and Skills at NSARE, said.
“NSARE is delighted to have supported the work undertaken by employers for the Railway Engineering Design Technician Apprenticeship Standard. In particular the clear link to Professional Engineering Institution ‘Engineering Technician' status is something we and many of our employer members’ support. The new standard is an important addition to the apprenticeship options for the industry, the Railway Engineering Design Technician Apprenticeship will form an initial building block as part of the broader review of apprenticeship frameworks now being considered and planned by industry employers”.