The Scottish Graduate Apprenticeship

The Scottish Graduate Apprenticeship for NDT has been approved for delivery by authorities of the University of Strathclyde. The first apprentice to enrol on this programme will be from Rolls-Royce’s Inchinnan plant, so the pressure will be on her to gain Strathclyde’s entry requirements of four ‘B’ grades at Scottish Higher level. This degree is a BEng (Hon) Engineering: Design & Manufacture qualification. There is no requirement to hold any NDT approvals or have an end-point assessment. The syllabus for Years 3 and 4 still focuses around two different NDT projects, keeping it in line with an English apprenticeship; however, the technical content of lectures still needs to be written. To join this Scottish apprenticeship, the employer must complete a nomination form for the university, explaining the benefits of the scheme for both employer and apprentice. My favourite part of this apprenticeship is the fact that there is zero cost for employers and that it is linked to a UK Research Centre in NDE (RCNDE) university, so the technical projects will be very interesting.

BINDT’s Education and Professional Development Committee is awaiting feedback following the survey that employers, educators and apprentices were asked to complete by the government’s Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE). This will shape the future of the three English standards and I am assuming some changes will need to be made.

The condition monitoring apprenticeship group has been asked to review the three existing English standards for NDT apprenticeships to see what would need to be modified to enable fully integrated NDT and CM apprenticeships and, as part of our response to the government review, I hope we can address both the needs of CM and the government in three redrafted standards.

The ‘Apprenticeship Document Download’ section of BINDT’s website has been reviewed and there is now only one completion checklist for the portfolio of evidence. The aim of this document is to ensure the apprentice and employer submit all relevant data in a consistent manner and to thus make assessing the portfolio easier for BINDT’s membership staff and end-point assessors.

Each end-point assessment organisation (for example BINDT) is required to have a level of oversight from an External Quality Assurance (EQA) body. The Engineering Council has recently registered to undertake this activity for NDT. However, a new government white paper has been drafted that throws into question the role of the EQA, so I will update you at a later time.

Iain Baillie is with Lead Employer Rolls-Royce and is involved with the NDT apprenticeships scheme. He is also BINDT President Elect.

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