UK automotive blazes trail for new apprenticeship standards

28 October 2013 #SMMT News

Today at MINI Plant Oxford, the Prime Minister announced plans to reform apprenticeships to deliver greater quality for learners and more intuitiveness for employers.

The reform will see employers given more control over apprenticeship standards, with the goal of consolidating the UK’s position at the forefront of apprentice employability.

BMW Group UK is one of more than 60 companies to have come together in groups, known as Trailblazers, to ensure that industry has the power to shape the design of apprenticeships.

There are eight Trailblazers in all, representing a broad spectrum of UK industry; the automotive sector is joined by aerospace, digital, electro-technical, energy, financial services, food and drink, and life and industrial sciences.

Key to the make-up of the new apprenticeships will be:

  • programmes designed by the employer, ensuring that the skills developed by learners are wholly relevant to the needs of industry
  • a focus on quality, culminating in rigorous assessment for the learner at the end of the apprenticeship
  • a pass/merit/distinction grading system, enabling levels of achievement to be differentiated

Prime Minister David Cameron said, “If you want an apprenticeship, we’re going to make sure you do the best apprenticeship in the world. The reforms we’re announcing today will put employers in the driving seat and ensure that we deliver rigorous training that supports you and our economy for years to come.”

Dr Frank Bachmann, Managing Director, MINI Plant Oxford, said, “As a major employer of apprentices, BMW Group is supporting this important skills initiative which is designed to develop the first apprenticeship standards across many industrial sectors including automotive. We’re delighted to host and help launch this new government programme.”

New apprentices will be able to enrol in the revised apprenticeship format from late 2014.

To find out more about the apprenticeship reform Trailblazers, click here.

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