Jim Costain pinched my tie!

Now I have your attention, I would like to share with you the presentations that were given at the NDT 2017 conference regarding the ongoing apprenticeships programme.

The first presentation was on Sunday, two days before the conference. This presentation was given to an ECWG approvals panel, to convince them that the NDT Operator apprenticeship met the underlying knowledge, skills and behaviours required for Engineering Council EngTech registration. I am pleased to inform you that the panel, followed by a peer review of their decision, has agreed that the NDT Operator apprenticeship meets the requirements of EngTech registration with three possible outcomes: firstly, if apprentices pass their apprenticeship and have the required three years’ experience, they will be registered as EngTech; secondly, if they pass their apprenticeship but do not have the required three years’ experience, registration will be on hold until they can meet the requirements; and, lastly, if they fail the apprenticeship, they will not be registered and will have to reapply through a different route.

The second presentation was given at the ECWG training day on Monday, in which I demonstrated how the Engineering Council requirements for a full EngTech registration including a professional review interview (PRI) were in many respects similar to the NDT Engineering Technician apprenticeship end-point assessment. This presentation was based on a document that will shortly be published on the BINDT website called ‘Guidance for the End-Point Assessment/PRI of NDT Engineering Technician Apprentices’.

The third presentation was a 15-minute plenary on Tuesday, the first day of the conference, in which I gave a brief outline of where we are with our apprenticeship development programme. It was during this presentation that I gave the good news that the NDT Engineer apprenticeship assessment plan was approved and would soon be ready for delivery.
The fourth presentation was on Wednesday morning, when I gave a presentation called ‘Apprenticeship update – the importance of continuing professional development’. During this presentation, I ran through the many programmes that BINDT and the University of Northampton have introduced in the past few years that provide considerable opportunities and benefit members by providing value for their membership.

The fifth presentation was later in the afternoon, when I reported on a meeting in London, called ‘Meeting to discuss how to optimise transferability of standards across the entire engineering and manufacturing sector’, which was a bit of a long-winded title. Basically, the government wanted a single Trailblazer development process but, over the past three years, it has allowed senior employer executives to canvas the minister directly and gain concessions. The purpose of this meeting was to see how things could be brought back on track with a single process, which is not easy. Apparently, I am now a member of a select group of industrialists who are going to solve this problem!
The sixth presentation was at the conference dinner, where I was allowed to give a presentation on the BINDT Benevolent Fund (nothing to do with apprenticeships but I will tell you about it anyway). Over the past four years, the Benevolent Fund has helped many people through hard times by contributing £7,279 to worthy causes. Income is important, so if you are renewing your membership tick the box to make a £5 donation to the Benevolent Fund. Just as important is knowing who needs help. Visit www.bindt.org/membership/for-individuals/benevolent-fund for further information and let the Benevolent Fund know if you hear of a worthy cause.

The seventh presentation was on Thursday morning and was given by Skills Training UK Ltd on its involvement in running apprenticeships. Skills Training UK Ltd is a Lead Provider (LP) that has an allocation of funds for apprenticeships and it has already signed agreements with some of our Accredited Training Organisations (ATOs)/Authorised Qualifying Bodies (AQBs). There are other LPs with an allocation of funds and, of course, BINDT will talk to anyone who wishes to fund NDT apprenticeships.

If you require any further information on apprenticeships or the presentations mentioned above, please contact John Moody (john.moody@bindt.org).

By the way, I lent Jim Costain my tie but he just didn’t return it!

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