The first apprentices following the new employer designed Trailblazer Apprenticeship standard have graduated at an event in the House of Commons on 12 July 2016.
Fifteen apprentices, employed by electricity distributor UK Power Networks, were the first to successfully complete one of the new Trailblazer Apprenticeships, designed by top employers to meet the needs of industry. The Trailblazer programme forms a key part of the Government’s reform of Apprenticeships to ensure businesses get the skills they need to succeed.
Basil Scarsella, Chief Executive Officer of UK Power Networks said: “I’m delighted our apprentices’ hard work has paid off. Their success really demonstrates the business case for offering Apprenticeships. Investing in standards to develop sector specific qualifications makes a huge difference to employers as the qualifications are relevant to industry and specific to employer needs.”
The apprentices will now put their 18-month Power Network Craftsperson Standard training programme to good use, having been trained as ‘jointers’, connecting and repairing underground electricity cables to keep the lights on across London, the South East and East Anglia. Their role will include ensuring local electricity networks are ready for the roll out of smart meters by electricity suppliers.
Following the success of the Apprenticeship standard, it was also announced at the event that employers in the sector have committed to recruiting over 4,000 apprentices this year. Since apprenticeship reforms started in September 2014, over 400 new Trailblazer apprenticeship standards have been developed, with 112 approved and ready for delivery. The new Apprenticeships include everything from financial services to the armed forces and broadcast production. There are 1,400 employers involved, with 2,200 Apprenticeships started in 2015/16 so far.
More information on Apprenticeships is available at http://www.getingofar.gov.uk/ and further details on Apprenticeship standards can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/apprenticeship-standards