Progress of the new apprenticeship schemes

This is the first in a series of articles that will appear in NDT News, aiming to keep members of the Institute and NDT technicians up-to-date with the progress of the new apprenticeship schemes.

In this issue, I thought I would dwell a little on the past, so that you can appreciate the fantastic opportunities the new apprenticeships will bring. In terms of educational initiatives, until about 15 years ago there had been very little available. However, things started to improve when Brunel University and Swansea Metropolitan University developed MScs in NDT. RCNDE then created its very successful Engineering Doctorate, which was followed by the University of Northampton’s FdSc and BSc (Hons) in NDT. The latest education initiative is the government-led Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme. I first got involved with apprenticeships in 2003 when Phil Kolbe, Head of Conferences and Events at BINDT, asked me to sit on a small BINDT working group to develop an apprenticeship framework and, by 2007, we were on the final version, version 7. In those days, there was only one apprenticeship scheme that I was aware of, which was run by ECITB for the construction industry; the output was NVQs that were not beneficial to industry, but now things are different.

In September 2014, BINDT’s Council agreed to support the creation of a Trailblazer NDT Apprenticeship, which would be developed by an industry employer group led by Rolls-Royce. The employer group was very clear about wanting new entrants to the NDT profession to be trained in a wide range of engineering knowledge, skills and behaviours, but with a focus on NDT. The employer group was also keen to cater for as many industry sectors as possible, so found a way of combining general engineering under ISO 9712 and aerospace under EN 4179 into a single apprenticeship scheme, with the opportunity to add other qualifying schemes at a later date.

We are now involved in the development or consideration of five apprenticeship schemes:
  • NDT Engineering Technician, which requires NDT Level 2 in three NDT methods (completed and ready for delivery).
  • NDT Operator, which requires NDT Level 2 in one method (partly approved).
  • NDT Incorporated Engineer, which requires one NDT Level 3, a Foundation Degree and a BSc Degree (expression of interest approved).
  • Condition Monitoring (still on the drawing board).
  • Finally, an MSc Degree Apprenticeship (still at the discussion stage).

Next month, I will elaborate on the content of the NDT Engineering Technician apprenticeship, explain the benefits to employers and apprentices and reveal what the apprentice gains once their apprenticeship is completed.

Comments by members

This forum post has no comments, be the first to leave a comment.

Submit your comment

You need to log in to submit a Comment. Please click here to log in or register.

<< Back