Employers begin work on civil engineering technician apprenticeship

Employers are to start developing an apprenticeship for civil engineering technician following government confirmation this week that the skill set would be part of the trailblazer programme. At the same time approval was given to the transport planning technician standard created by companies. 

The employer working group for the civils technicial apprenticeship, chaired by Arup’s Kim Blackmore, is looking to build on the already successful advanced technician apprenticeship for civil engineering technicians.  This apprenticeship was one of the first to map apprenticeship standards to UK-SPEC competences for engineering technician and has over 500 apprentices on the programme across England and Wales. 

“Giving employers the power to design apprenticeships means that apprentices graduate with the skills they for the job they want and businesses get the talent they need to grow" - skills minister Nick Boles

This is the third Apprenticeship Trailblazer to benefit companies which are members of the Technician Apprenticeship Consortium.  Companies represented on the Employer Working Group are Arup, BWB Consulting, CH2M Hill, EM Highways, Highways Agency, Mott MacDonald, Mouchel, MWH Global, Peter Brett Associates, Scott White and Hookins LLP, Tata Steel, Tideway Tunnels, Tony Gee and Partners LLP, and Waterman Group.  The group has the strong support of the Institution of Civil Engineers. TAC is also helping develop apprenticeships in railway engineering design and transport planning technician. 

Approval was given this week for the employer produced standard for the transport planning technician apprenticeship developed by an employer working group led by Atkins' Christine Crossley.

Over the last five years TAC membership has risen from six to over 50 and the number of apprentices from 8 to over 300. Since its inception in 2010 over 700 apprentices have been offered an alternative route into the industry. TAC is 

“Giving employers the power to design apprenticeships means that apprentices graduate with the skills they for the job they want and businesses get the talent they need to grow,” said skills minister Nick Boles, welcoming the launch of the new apprenticeship.

Nick Baveystock, Director General of the Institution of Civil Engineers urged the next government to continue support for the trailblazer programme. "“Continuity is an important factor in education policy. I hope the next government maintains support for the trailblazer programme and continues to work with the built environment community – developing quality apprenticeships rather than simply more of them," he said.

“Engineering is not just for those who go to university and this apprenticeship will allow more people to achieve professional status. The engineering sector is picking up speed and we need more people from all backgrounds to contribute to Britain’s success. Formal recognition by BIS of this civil engineering apprenticeship will help fulfil this ambition, also validating the apprenticeship’s successes to date." Baveystock added. 

TAC is supported by the ACE and chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin explained the rationale around its support:  "It is clear to me that the optimism of ACE member companies, large and small, is tempered by a concern that they are finding it difficult and expensive to recruit and retain the highly skilled staff they need to deliver their projects.  With an ageing workforce and a potential shortage of graduates the situation is only going to get worse.  The sector as a whole urgently needs to find new ways to access and train the next generation of professional engineers."

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