Lifeline for engineering apprentices during Covid-19 crisis

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engineering apprentices,
© Undrey

Engineering apprentices have been thrown a lifeline, as new protocols for carrying out vital End-Point Assessments remotely allow apprentices to achieve required benchmarks during Covid-19

British business is being urged by industry leaders and unions to adopt newly developed techniques to ensure that thousands of young engineering apprentices can qualify during the Covid-19 crisis.

EAL has developed new protocols for carrying out End-Point Assessments remotely – which would allow apprentices to achieve required benchmarks in the learning process, become qualified and be ready to help the nation’s economic recovery.

The breakthrough ensures that even apprentices being furloughed could move to the next level, enhance their earnings and boost their career prospects.

Union leaders welcome the development

Kevin Rowan, head of organisation, services & skills at TUC, said: “The new ways of working mark a significant breakthrough for business and apprentices ensuring quality standards are not compromised – whilst allowing companies and personnel to continue building skills and productivity in these challenging times.

“Engineering and manufacturing will be in the front-line of recovery – and we need to ensure that every single apprentice in the pipeline is given a fair chance to do their bit – crisis or no crisis.”

Ian Waddell of the Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions, commented: “Tens of thousands of apprentices are in danger of being side-lined – when in fact they should be raring to help us on the road to recovery.

“We wholeheartedly support this pioneering development, championed by Enginuity and its Awarding Organisation, EAL – and urge industry to make best use of it in the weeks and months to come. This crisis must not be allowed to blight thousands of young lives as they set out to help Britain prosper.”

Andrew Robinson, operations and apprenticeship manager at specialist recruitment firm Morson said: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of the Morson Group and are key to securing a sustainable talent pipeline for all future projects.

“In these difficult times, working with the excellent team at EAL and using technology to find agile solutions to the End-Point Assessment process, has allowed us to ensure our apprentices have completed their learning journey and received the qualifications they have worked hard for.”

‘Don’t let apprentices be forgotten’

Derwent Training Association is a training provider delivering engineering apprenticeships.

Claire Gavaghan, CEO said: “We moved to remote delivery in mid-March. We went from a standing start and learnt and adapted, not easy but essential. We knew we could not let apprentices be forgotten. They are crucial to the productivity of the UK.

“Not a single apprentice has gone on a break in learning, all are still in-learning and are making progress towards achievement. Employers and apprentices are happy with the continued training.”

The remote End-Point Assessments, began on 13 March 2020 and are carried out by a strong team of 47 specially trained assessors – in aspects of engineering including automotive, rail, aerospace, manufacturing, project management, maintenance, automation and control, tool making & machining, fabrication & welding and engineering specialisms such as metrology and product design.

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