Ellis is the first training organisation registered for new Apprenticeship qualification

There have been some exciting things going on in the world of Apprenticeship training. In keeping with the recommendations of the Richards Review of some years ago, we have been working to develop a new ‘Trailblazer’ qualification – City & Guilds 6090: Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems Engineering Technician.

Around five years ago, in its Richards Report, the government recognised the fact that there were qualifications out there which had been put together by various groups of people but which were not necessarily what employers wanted their apprentices to have by way of qualifications.

Many different industries have responded to the recommendations of the Richards report, which flagged up the need for qualifications written by employers, our own industry included. This is the background of the 6090 qualification.

Any training organisation offering Level 3 RACHP qualifications is entitled to apply for City & Guilds approval to offer this course – and I’m very pleased to say that Ellis Training Works has become the first to be approved and be on the Register of Approved Training Providers (RoATP).

Although, some years ago, we did take funding for our apprentices, a number of factors, including all of the bureaucracy involved, did not make it worthwhile for us to continue so all of our candidates have been privately funded. Happily though, we now have a very different formula.

The new Levy scheme requires employers whose salary bill is in excess of £3m to pay into a Training Levy, with these contributions being used to pay for apprentice training. Among the many benefits of this new scheme is the fact that it will result in an increase in the number of skilled people in the workforce. We think it’s a fantastic thing and we are very excited by all of this.

Ellis Training Works is now approved to take apprentices from Levy paying employers, and although the majority of employers in our industry are non Levy paying, we fully expect, that come January, we will be able to take apprentices from these companies too. In this instance, the apprentices will be partially funded by the employer, with the remainder being met by the Skills Funding Agency.

So as you can see, all of this represents quite a turnaround. The new arrangements stand to make a hugely positive impact on our industry. Personally, I don’t think enough has been made of this – we’ll certainly do our bit to spread the word.

In my next post, I’ll share more about the background, rationale and content of the new 6090 Trailblazer qualification.

With best wishes,

John

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