As part of its commitment to reform UK apprenticeships, the government has launched a major new programme aimed at improving apprenticeships across eight key industry sectors in England, including the electroctechnical sector.

Formed as Trailblazer Groups, each team will be given the opportunity to lead the development of new apprenticeship standards, and the high level assessment approaches that accompany them.

Once ratified, these standards recommended by the Trailblazers will become the future ideal standard for apprenticeships within each given sector.

SJD Electrical is the first Milton Keynes based company to become a Trailblazer, working closely with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and a selected few leading electrical contractors.

SJD director Ruth Devine said, “Employing apprentices is essential to provide future skills for the ongoing growth and development of our business. So being selected to participate in the development of the new and improved electroctechnical apprenticeship standard makes us very proud indeed.”

The main aims of the government’s apprenticeship reforms are to:

Listen to employers: Apprenticeships will be based on standards designed by employers.

Assess apprentices and apprenticeships: An apprentice will need to demonstrate competence through rigorous assessment to ensure that they are ready to progress. Apprenticeship outcomes will also be awarded on a scale to recognise the level of achievement.

Simplify systems: reformed standards will be ‘short and easy to understand’- describing the skills and knowledge that an individual will need to be fully competent in a given occupation.

More information can be found at the GOV.UK and ECA websites.