FER Backs Trailblazers

The Board of the Federation of Engine Remanufacturers has enthusiastically backed the development, in partnership with Qualitrain, of a new training standard for the engine remanufacturing industry under the Trailblazers programme.

“Within two years the current arrangements for apprenticeships will be replaced by the Trailblazers scheme,” explained Qualitrain’s Mike Perkins. “As with so many aspects of training there is some complexity to deal with, but the short version is that the Trailblazers scheme is the government’s attempt to move apprenticeships and funding into the control of the businesses who employ the apprentices. At the moment apprenticeships are typically run by colleges and by training providers such as Qualitrain. The aim is to give the employer greater involvement in deciding exactly what the ‘standard’ should be in each apprenticeship.”

According to the scheme’s organisers, the four key aims are:

Put employers in the driving seat – Apprenticeships will be based on standards designed by employers, making them more relevant and therefore more attractive to existing and new employers.

Increase the quality of apprenticeships – An apprentice will need to demonstrate their competence through rigorous and holistic assessment. This will focus on the end of the apprenticeship to ensure that the apprentice is ready to progress.

Simplify the system – The new employer-designed standards will be short and easy to understand. They will describe the knowledge, skills and Behaviour (KSBs) that an individual needs to be fully competent in an occupation.

Give employers purchasing power – Putting control of government funding for the external training of apprentices in the hands of employers, to empower businesses to act as customers, driving up the quality and relevance of such training.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity,” said Mike. “The initial impetus of the FER’s work with Qualitrain was to develop training that was more specialised, more bespoke to the needs of the engine reman industry. We believe Trailblazers is absolutely made for organisations like the FER, enabling them to take control of protecting and developing their own skills base. Putting it simply, Trailblazers will allow the FER (with Qualitrain’s help!) to develop unique qualifications and draw funding direct from government to deliver them.”