Civil Engineering Technician Apprenticeship survey will boost sector's training reputation

Industry feedback on the new standard for civil apprenticeships will boost civil engineering employers' standing with Government, says ACE's head of HR Wendy Lasebikan.

Wendy Lasebikan, ACE

The field of engineering is facing up to a £9.5 billion retention gap, as revealed in the ACE and EngTechNow recent report The Retention Gap, which results in financial and productivity losses for employers. According to the British Chamber of Commerce, 88 % of businesses in the UK think that school leavers are unprepared for work straight away, making training initiatives essential if  businesses want to create ideal candidates for employment.[1]

Now, more than ever, employers must participate in establishing standards for proper training.

"TAC is conducting a survey designed to gauge the relevancy of the current Civil Engineering Apprenticeship Standard, as well as to highlight proposed changes. Please fill it in by the end of August"

The Technician Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC) was created in 2010 with this purpose in mind, as a collaboration of major engineering consultancy practices for the purpose of implementing high standards of training within the different specialisations.

Today TAC is composed of 19 companies, and has increased the number of apprentices going into training every year  from eight to over 400 apprentices today. This structure of collaboration between companies, professional institutions and the training sector helps business in obtaining the skills needed, as well as offering young people from of all backgrounds, including those historically under represented, an alternative route to a career in engineering.

With reinvigorated governmental efforts to monitor the validity of, as well as fair access to, apprenticeships, the successful strides that TAC has made to improve training standards demonstrates what can be achieved.

The most notable new government impact on apprenticeships came during the summer 2015 Budget with the declaration that 3 million new apprenticeships will be created by 2020, funded by a levy on large employers.

Also at the core apprenticeship reform is a new Apprenticeship Standard and Assessment Strategy.  The apprenticeship standard sets out the technical knowledge, skills and behaviours that would be expected of someone working in a particular occupation.  The achievement of the standard will be assessed at the end of the apprenticeship at which point it is expected that the young person will be able to competently undertake the role as set out in the standard.

With this increased government scrutiny, setting standards with the unified support of the industry is essential, something that the  Technician Apprenticeship Consortium is working to achieve for the Civil Engineering Apprenticeship Standard.

A group of employers from the public and private sector is engaged in defining the requirements of the Civil Engineering Technician Apprenticeship. The prototype for this standard, which already maps to the UKSPEC requirements for registration as an Engineering Technician, has been running successfully for five years under the auspices of TAC.

Now TAC needs to know whether the proposed Apprenticeship Standard has wide support from across the civil engineering sector, both public and private, and from companies both large and small. 

In order to incorporate views from practising engineers, TAC is conducting a survey designed to gauge the relevancy of the current Civil Engineering Apprenticeship Standard, as well as to highlight proposed changes.

Improving the skillset of apprentices to reflect directly what is needed in the industry improves the confidence of apprentices that they are pursuing training that will be useful. They can be sure it will meet their aspirations for a career as a professional engineer. 

ACE encourages you and others within the field to complete the survey available here. Deadline for completion and to have your views hears is the end of August.

To read more about, or to download The Retention Gap report, click here.


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