Apprenticeships are now seen as a viable alternative to going to university and it is hoped that the new Trailblazer schemes will encourage more youngsters to take up a career that will also give them professional recognition.
As National Apprenticeship Week (March 9–13, 2015) approaches, Bryan Clark, technical and education manager for the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), said:
“So much has happened since this project started early last year. Funding from the Gatsby Foundation allowed the CIPHE and SummitSkills to carry out research to understand issues and barriers around professional recognition for plumbing and domestic heating. The information gathered culminated in the government sanctioning a Trailblazer scheme for our industry.
“Further research has been carried out by an Employer Development Group, with SummitSkills acting as secretariat and APHC providing development consultative services. A draft standard has now been created and circulated for consultation. It is hoped that the final standard will be ready to submit for formal approval before the end of February.
“Because the new scheme is being developed by employers, we know that it is going to be fit for purpose. It will also lead to EngTech registration, which will raise standards in the industry.
“This whole process has proved to me how important it is for our industry to work together. Educating the next generation of plumbing and heating installers is such an important issue – we must all do what we can to ensure that we get it right.”
Information on National Apprenticeship Week (9-13 March), can be found at www.apprenticeships.gov.uk