NORTHAMPTON, UK — The new standard for the ‘Non-Destructive Testing Engineering Technician’ apprenticeship received formal approval July 6, 2015 and is now officially published on the government’s apprenticeships website at www.gov.uk/government/collections/apprenticeship-standards. Once the assessment plan and costing model have been approved, employers can sign up to offer the apprenticeship. In the meantime, employers are being encouraged to indicate their intention to put people through the NDT Engineering Technician apprenticeship by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roger Lyon, Phase 3 Trailblazer Apprenticeships project manager for BINDT, commented: “This has been an immense effort by the Employers’ Development Group and our success has been achieved against a background of significant rejection of other Trailblazer apprenticeship standards. Approval of the standard was the major hurdle, but now we have achieved this we can press on with the assessment plan, costing model and other appropriate documentation. As part of BINDT’s strategic plan, NDT Apprenticeships will help to address the ageing profile of NDT technicians, it will encourage employers to take on new staff at reduced training costs and it will enable school leavers to embark on a worthwhile career in NDT."
The NDT Engineering Technician Apprenticeship will be appropriate for all industries, including power generation, aerospace, motor sport (F1), petrochemical, gas, rail, steel, nuclear, marine, service inspection and many more. The design of the apprenticeship will allow companies and applicants to follow different pathways to success by conforming to appropriate international standards, such as EN ISO 9712 or EN 4179. The development of the scheme is to include core, sector-specific and company-specific training and qualifications, as well as a measurable demonstration of behavior, diversity and codes of conduct. The end result will be a fully-rounded NDT Engineering Technician who has the skills to carry out appropriate NDT tasks within their industrial sector and in whom the employer can have considerable confidence. A successful NDT Apprentice will meet the requirements for professional registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech) with the Engineering Council.
BINDT recognizes the valuable support of the 58 companies committed to taking the 200 apprentices per year this scheme anticipates. The engineering scope of NDT is very wide and the companies come from most of the UK’s industry sectors, opening opportunities for sustained careers to the successful candidates.
Dr Iain Baillie, Rolls-Royce, UK NDT laboratory manager, said: “Recently many companies have struggled to recruit talented NDT specialists. NDT is a technical field, which needs bright individuals with an excellent understanding of mathematics and physics as well as in-depth product knowledge. As the lead employer for the new NDT apprenticeship scheme, we at Rolls-Royce are confident that this scheme will provide businesses with a pool of high-caliber and qualified NDT specialists.”
Phase 3 Trailblazer Apprenticeships are the continuation of a pilot study that introduces a new apprenticeship model for the development of standards in the academic year 2014-2015. The scheme introduces reforms that give employers the purchasing power needed to acquire the best value and most appropriate training for apprentices. Colleges, training providers and universities will be incentives to provide the training needed to fulfill the standards and the funding rules and processes have been simplified.
Under the interim funding arrangements, employers will now have more control of the funding for apprenticeships, which will mean that they can work directly with providers to secure the most effective training for their apprentices. Rather than the government setting the price of training centrally, costs can be negotiated with training providers directly to ensure that it delivers the best value for the company. For every £1 invested in training and assessing apprentices, the government will contribute £2. When an apprentice receives high-quality training towards a new apprenticeship standard, it creates significant benefits for the business but also for the wider economy.