Water and waste management sectors create Trailblazer Apprenticeships

Young people aiming to build careers in the water and waste management sectors will soon be able to participate in two new apprenticeship schemes, thanks to some of the top employers in the industries.

Thirteen leading firms, including South West Water, Thames Water, LondonWaste, Welsh Water, and United Utilities, have collaborated through the Energy & Efficiency Industrial Partnership to develop the programmes as part of the government’s new Trailblazer scheme, which has been designed to give employers the chance to develop their own apprenticeship standards.

The first sets of standards developed by the collaboration, for new Level 3 Water Process Technician and Utilities Engineering Technician apprenticeships, have now been approved by the Departments for Business, Innovations & Skills and Education. The apprenticeships are set to be available in September 2015, once the employers have fully defined their content and assessment processes.

Commenting on the news, the Skills Minister, Nick Boles, said: “I’m delighted that Energy & Utilities Trailblazer has developed new Utilities Engineering Technician and Water Process Technician apprenticeship standards.”

He went on to praise the Energy and Utilities sectors, stating that they “are leading by example in the development and delivery of high quality apprenticeships that give people the chance of successful careers and help businesses get the skills they need to grow.”

Ground-breaking initiative
Jan Newberry, training manager at South West Water and chair of the water and waste management Trailblazer Apprenticeship Group, described the government initiative as “ground breaking”.

“All involved in the group have worked extremely hard to define these employer-led standards, which will ensure our apprentices have the right skill sets needed to meet the business challenges that lie ahead,” she added.

The employer-developed Energy & Efficiency Industrial Partnership has received £33 million of government investment through the Employer Ownership of Skills (EOS) fund, and matching funds have been provided by participating firms.

The partnership was created to enable businesses within the energy and utilities sectors to work together effectively in order to tackle the issues of energy demand and job creation. It aims to create 70,000 new learning opportunities in the form of apprenticeships and traineeships, as well as to fund more training programmes, and innovate new training formats and entry routes, to encourage more people to pursue careers in the industries.

edie staff

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