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Press Release Archive 2013

Engineering Council welcomes Trailblazers

Published: 31/10/2013

The Engineering Council welcomes the announcement made by Government on Monday, which sets out its implementation plan for reform of Apprenticeships, building on the recommendations of the Richard Review of Apprenticeships. 

Developed initially as Trailblazers, the improved Apprenticeships will bring greater focus on quality for the learner and ease of use for employers.  Professional standards will be central to training and assessment, and those in engineering will meet the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) requirements for professional registration as Engineering Technician (EngTech) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng).

The Trailblazers will develop a high level approach to assessment during the design of the Apprenticeships. Employers and their apprentices will be engaged directly with the Professional Engineering Institutions, while the Engineering Council will take an active part in steering the new Apprenticeships to meet the needs of the engineering profession as a whole, building on the lessons learned from the initial pilot phase. 

Jon Prichard, CEO of the Engineering Council says: “The Engineering Council welcomes the reforms to Apprenticeships in England, and is pleased that Trailblazers will drive up standards by placing professional registration at the heart of Apprenticeships. By doing so, apprentices and employers will benefit from the long established quality assurance and independent recognition of competence offered by the engineering profession.” 

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said:  “I am very pleased that the Engineering Council has chosen to be at the forefront of our Apprenticeship reforms. This is a great opportunity to support the Trailblazers, which are 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.” 

The Government plans to expand Trailblazers over the coming months, ensuring different sectors are represented, and welcomes further involvement from the Professional Engineering Institutions and employers. Those interested in getting involved in an existing or working on a new Trailblazer should contact: 

Further information and the Government announcement can be found at:

Note to editors

Seven of the initial eight Trailblazers include Professional Engineering Institutions:

Aerospace – Led by organisations including Airbus, BAE Systems, GKN Aerospace, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Magellan Aerospace UK Ltd, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, MSM Aerospace Fabricators, Rolls-Royce and the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).  This will develop the standard for Aerospace Manufacturing Fitter.

Automotive – Led by organisations including Bentley Motors, BMW Group UK, EEF, Ford, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Jaguar Land Rover, Siemens, Toyota Manufacturing UK and Vauxhall Motors. This will develop the standard for Automotive Mechatronics Maintenance. 

Digital Industries – Led by organisations including Accenture, BT, BCS the Chartered Institute for IT (BCS), CapGemini, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and the Test Factory. This will develop the standards for Software Development and Networking.

Electrotechnical – Led by organisations including Balfour Beatty, Barlows Electrical, Daly Limited, Darke & Taylor Ltd, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Joint Industry Board for the Electrical Contracting Industry, National Grid and UPM Shotton Paper. This will develop the standards for Installation Electrician and Maintenance Electrician. 

Energy and Utilities – Led by organisations including British Gas, the Clancy Group, E.ON, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM), Leven Energy Services, National Grid, Northumbrian Water, Thames Water and Viridor. This will develop the standard for Maintenance Engineers. 

Financial Services – Led by organisations including Barclays, Capita, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander, Sesame and Openwork. This will develop the standards for Corporate Banking, Digital Marketing, Compliance and IFA Network Administration. 

Food and Drink Manufacturing – Led by organisations including Arla Foods (UK), Dairy Crest, First Milk, Fosters Bakery, Haribo, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), McCain Foods (GB) Ltd, Mondelēz International, Müller Dairy, Nestlé UK, Premier Foods, Thorntons PLC and Unilever UK. This will develop the standard for Food and Drink Maintenance Engineer. 

Life Sciences & Industrial Sciences – Led by organisations including Fujifilm Diosynth, GSK, the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), Johnson & Johnson, Lotte Chemical UK Ltd, Lucite International, MedImmune, P3 Medical Ltd, Seralab, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Biology, Synergy Outsourcing and Victrex Plc. This will develop the standards for Laboratory Technician, Science Manufacturing Technician and Medical Technology Technician.