As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, we have been very enthusiastic supporters of the government’s new ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeship standards. These standards have been developed by employer and consultant groups known as ‘trailblazers’ and I have been pleased to make a contribution to the development of a new apprenticeship standard for our own industry.
One of the things that excites me most about the new City & Guilds 6090 qualification single Level 3 Apprenticeship course is that it represents a shift in emphasis – away from the old model of knowledge acquisition and regurgitation and back to an emphasis on knowledge acquisition, application and use, while being employed and trained as an Apprentice.
This kind of approach to training and assessment promises to deliver tremendous value to our industry – producing technicians and engineers with enhanced competence and greater skill levels, better equipped than ever to deal with practical challenges in the course of their everyday work.
For example, where trainees in the past might have been asked to ‘define the gas laws’, they are now asked to ‘use the gas laws when tight testing a system’. So, there is greater emphasis on the integration of the 80% ‘on the job’ with the 20% ‘off the job’ training time, with collaboration between employers and training colleges, as evidenced in the newly altered, synoptic approach to Endpoint Assessment.
At the time of writing this, Ellis Training Works is still the only training organisation listed on the Register of Approved Training Providers to deliver the new RACHP Apprenticeship C&G 6090 programme to employees of levy-paying companies. (We are still hopeful that we may acquire funding to be made available to non-levy paying companies, but we are not entirely certain at this stage).
As recently as June this year, the government altered the rules with regard to Endpoint Assessments, meaning that training centres and employers have not had much time to respond. As a result, nobody has really been in a position to go forward.
Our Trailblazer Apprenticeship programme was submitted to Ofqual, the Government Regulator, before these rule changes were made, so it will have to now be reassessed in the light of the new rules. I take the view that training and qualifications are an ever-changing process, and that government action in tightening rules can actually help to safeguard the funding process.
So at this stage we are very much looking forward to starting with the nee RACHP Apprenticeship qualification. I will keep you updated on progress!