Energy and utilities sector welcomes commitment to apprenticeships

Leading employers in the energy and utilities sector have welcomed the government's continued commitment to apprenticeships - a year on from the levy's go-live date of 6 April 2017.*

Energy and utilities sector welcomes commitment to apprenticeships

Across the sector, there are now thousands of people starting new careers through an apprenticeship.

Eleven ‘Trailblazer’ standards have been developed by sector employers, in partnership with Energy & Utility Skills, resulting in 11 assessment plans already being formally approved. Career pathways now exist through apprenticeships: from levels 2 (roughly equivalent to five GCSEs) up to 7 (equal to a master’s degree).

The new standards ensure that apprentices graduate with the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to be ‘job ready’ in the highly regulated and safety-critical gas, water, power and waste management industries. The sector took a decision nearly two years ago, to act and learn together to make the new levy policy work.

Nearly 270 apprentices have now completed end-point assessment through the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service (EUIAS), which was developed specifically to provide high quality end-point assessment on the new English ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeship standards for the sector. The EUIAS has been in the vanguard of adapting to the new standards, securing the first-ever authorised standard, the first apprentice to graduate, the first female engineer at level 2, the first-ever water industry apprentice completion and many others.

Nick Ellins (pictured), chief executive of Energy & Utility Skills, said: “The sector supported the concept of generating a large pipeline of new UK talent through apprenticeships right from the very start, and dedicated its efforts to making reforms work. The sector’s success and achievements speak for themselves. As one of the UK’s key STEM sectors, our employers have been in the vanguard of English Trailblazer introduction; securing the first standard and graduating the first-ever apprentices. They are a vital element of our approach to workforce resilience, as we address significant recruitment challenges.

“The introduction of the levy transfer policy, which will permit up to 10% of levy funds to be transferred for use by our sector’s vital supply chain companies, now gives us further opportunity to deliver more, and it is welcomed, but there is more to do.”

*The Apprenticeship Levy is charged at 0.5% of employers’ annual pay bills that exceed £3 million, to fund apprenticeship training.


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