Welding industry unites in response to government call for apprenticeships trailblazers

Welding industry unites in response to government call for apprenticeships trailblazers

Minister of State for Skills and Equalities, Nick Boles MP launches phase 3 apprenticeships trailblazers

Following the announcement today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Welding Institute is pleased to confirm the start of a new project to transform standards and qualification guidelines for welding apprenticeships.

In the latest phase of the government’s apprenticeships trailblazer plan announced earlier this year, the Institute will work alongside leading UK employers and skills professionals in a working group to roll out a programme to boost opportunities for young people entering the manufacturing and construction employment markets.

This employer-led approach means that companies will have a free reign to develop an optimised standard for a welding apprenticeship suitable for all industrial sectors that depend on the skill and knowledge of welders. The group will also be able to contribute a practical voice in relation to assessing English, Maths and functional skills requirements.

The Welding Apprenticeship Employer Group, chaired by Mike Skyrme from BAE Systems, held its first meeting in September and is beginning to draft the new welding apprenticeship standard. It will submit the standard to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills during the spring of 2015.

Co-ordinator of the welding apprenticeship trailblazer Tim Jessop, Associate Director at The Welding Institute, said, ‘The rapid increase in demand for skilled welders in manufacturing and construction across the country and the shortage of such people is a clear indication of the need for a new approach to welding apprenticeships. We hope this project will result in a boost in the number of employers taking on apprentices and encourage new interest from the young people themselves. We are looking forward to working with the group and seeing the trailblazer take shape in the coming months.’

Skills Minister Nick Boles said, ‘I congratulate The Welding Institute for the key role it is playing in developing new top-quality apprenticeships. Through the trailblazers’ initiative, organisations like The Welding Institute, in collaboration with its industry partners, will give people the skills they need to thrive and our businesses need to compete.’

Representing employers, sector skills councils, professional bodies, and national trade associations, Welding Apprenticeships Employer Group comprises, Alstom; BAE Systems; British Constructional Steelwork Association; Doosan-Babcock; Liebherr; Pall Europe; Rolls-Royce plc; TEi; Kellog, Brown and Root; Graham Engineering Ltd; Hudson-Swan Engineering Ltd; and Billington Structures Ltd, with professional engineering contribution from The Welding Institute, and skills council involvement from Semta and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board.

For more information, or if you are employer interested in supporting this trailblazer, please contact us. Visit the apprenticeships website at www.apprenticeships.org.uk