Good news for NDT Apprenticeships

This month, I have three pieces of good news. Firstly, the NDT Operator apprenticeship is now fully approved by government and is available to be used by employers. The NDT Operator is the second apprenticeship to be approved and offers employers the opportunity to recruit apprentices who will be fully trained in one NDT method. The key elements of the apprenticeship are NDT knowledge and skills, associated engineering fundamentals, such as materials science, defect propagation and behaviours. The NDT method is set at Level 2 and the choice of method is entirely up to the employer. If the apprentice is attempting one of the simpler methods, such as magnetic particle inspection, dye penetrant inspection or visual inspection, then it is not unreasonable to expect the apprentice to attempt direct entry to Level 2. However, if the apprentice is attempting a more complex method, then the expectation is that they will undertake Level 1 first, followed by Level 2.

Following on from our success with the first two apprenticeship schemes, I am delighted to inform you that the NDT Engineer apprenticeship standard (formerly the NDT Incorporated Engineer standard) has now been approved and we have been given the green light to develop the associated assessment plan. The NDT Engineer apprenticeship is likely to have several entry levels depending on what the apprentice has already achieved in their career and will include an NDT Level 3, a foundation degree, a BSc or BEng degree and a BSc/BEng (Hons) degree. So, a school leaver will start at the very beginning, whereas an NDT Level 3 can start part way through. Along with the degrees and the NDT Level 3, there are similar additional requirements to those of the other two apprenticeships, such as material properties, electronic principles, structural health monitoring, commercial awareness, regulatory and international standards requirements, design processes and root cause analysis. The NDT degree is an exciting opportunity to take your career to the next level.

We are committed to providing equal opportunities for all NDT personnel and so, in a similar way to the Engineering Technician and the NDT Operator apprenticeships, the NDT Engineer apprenticeship will be available to general engineering (BS EN ISO 9712) and aerospace (BS EN 4179).

For some time now, we have relied solely on Lavender International to facilitate the NDT apprenticeships with organisations that have a government funding allocation. However, I am now pleased to report that IMechE Engineering Training Solutions has created the opportunity with two organisations that have funding allocations and is now in a position to facilitate apprenticeships; I am sure that more ATOs/AQBs will follow. Additionally, John Moody and I have been talking to GEN2, Loughborough College and others about funding NDT apprenticeships. Sign up for an apprenticeship now and get free support from BINDT (the NDT governing body), including a professional log book and an information pack.

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