Update on apprenticeships in response to COVID-19

With COVID-19 dominating everything at present, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) has given us a reprieve with regards to proposed changes to the three English apprenticeships. Work incorporating condition monitoring and suggested IfATE changes will commence when we can once again hold meetings in person.

In more positive news, John Moody and I have successfully conducted the first NDT Engineer end-point assessment interview. Rob Jackson from IRISNDT had previous NDT experience, so he was able to complete the apprenticeship in two years and he discussed his university project during the interview. Due to travel restrictions, we conducted the interview over Webex, which added an extra level of jeopardy as I had to operate the IT at a time when the UK broadband network was being challenged. As the apprentice also wanted to apply for IEng status, we conducted that interview in parallel, so it was great to see him both pass his apprenticeship and obtain this status. Skills Training UK and his colleagues at IRISNDT should be very proud of him.

A new government white paper implies that Ofqual may be used to audit all end-point assessment organisations such as BINDT. Our preference is that BINDT is overseen by the Engineering Council, as it understands NDT and our industry, and we will be challenging this suggestion from the government (the implication being complicated bureaucracy by auditors who do not know much about NDT or engineering).

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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