The NDT apprenticeship impact!

Since the first few NDT apprentices started their learning journey more than five years ago, the programmes have gone from strength to strength. More employers than ever are starting to utilise NDT apprenticeships, ensuring that succession plans are met, funding is utilised and existing staff are up-skilled.

At the last count, over 200 apprentices had started their NDT apprenticeship programmes, which provides some fascinating statistics.

One of the stand-out figures relates to the NDT and CM certification that has been achieved through the apprenticeships. If all apprentices go on to successfully complete the end-point assessment, this will generate over 300 new Level 2 certificates, 79 new Level 3 certificates and 79 BEng and BSc NDT

From basic surface methods such as magnetic particle and dye penetrant testing to complex ultrasonics and thermography, new certificates across various certification schemes are being generated on a weekly basis through the available training schools, which is exactly what the training programmes were designed to do. Furthermore, all apprentices who complete the programme receive valuable on- and off-the-job training in various key behaviours pertinent to the role of an NDT Operator, Technician or Engineer.

Another of the main aims of the apprenticeship programme is to ensure that employers take advantage of the available funding schemes, introduced either through direct government funding or the ‘apprenticeship tax levy’. Through the generation of over 200 apprentices across the three available programmes, the financial drawdown is estimated to be over £4,000,000. This funding is being used to pay for the formal professional training, degree programmes, specialist one-to-one training sessions and much more. One of the questions I must put to NDT management and company owners is: Have you claimed your funding? Please speak to BINDT, approved training schools or apprenticeship training providers to find out about the available funding and how you can utilise this excellent scheme.

Next month, I will focus on the NDT apprenticeship from the perspective of an employer, hearing directly from them as to why they decided to utilise the scheme, what it means to them and how successful it has been.

Please note that the views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not represent the views of JetSoft or BINDT.

Sam Cunningham is with JetSoft and is a member of BINDT’s Education & Professional Development Committee, which oversees the development of the NDT apprenticeships. He is also an Associate Lecturer for the NDT apprenticeship programme with the University of Northampton.

Employers in England looking to recruit an apprentice can find up-to-date guidance at:

Details of the current apprenticeship vacancies in England are available at:

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