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From the organisers of

Trailblazers wanted for new apprenticeships

22 February 2016

The Natural Stone Industry Training Group is looking for 10 Trailblazers to develop a new kind of apprenticeship.

Meeting: Tuesday 22 March, 1pm, Building Crafts College London E15 1AH

The Government introduced a review of apprenticeships which was first published in 2013 entitled The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Implementation Plan 3. Its aim is to grow the number of apprenticeships available but, more importantly, to put employers in the driving seat.

Future apprenticeships will be based on standards designed by employers, making them more relevant and thus more attractive both to existing and new employers.

Apprentices will need to demonstrate their competence through rigorous and holistic assessment. This will focus on the end of the apprenticeship to ensure that the apprentice is ready to progress.

The new employer-designed standards will be short and easy to understand. They will describe the knowledge, skills and behaviour (KSBs) that an individual needs in order to be fully competent within an occupation.

What will happen if Natural Stone Industry employers do nothing?

Apprentices will cease to exist as we currently know them and FE Colleges will simply deliver bespoke / requested training courses. This, of course, will lead to a diverse range of training standards and possibly future issues with stone masonry qualifications (and CSCS card issue).

How is the Natural Stone Industry dealing with this?

Currently it isn’t!

What needs to happen?

We need a minimum of 10 employers to work together and design the standards and assessment plans for specific apprenticeships in the natural stone sector.

By getting involved in developing the standards for occupations in your area of work, you will have the opportunity to define the knowledge and skills you require from your future workforce and which training (supported by the Government) will help to deliver this. In turn, this will mean that apprenticeships support more directly your business growth and prosperity.

IMPORTANT MEETING - please attend

A meeting has been arranged for Tuesday 22 March at 1pm to be held at the Building Crafts College, Stratford, London, E15 1AH. It will be Chaired by Michelle Turner (representing natural stone sector employer Stone Restoration Services) and Trailblazer project manager Ian Major, together with BCC stonemasonry representative Nigel Gilkinson.

The aim of this first meeting is to confirm that natural stone sector employers want to set a standard for future apprentices. Please use the email links below to let either Michelle or Ian know you are prepared to attend this kick-start meeting and contribute to this project.

[email protected]

[email protected]

You might like to read what the Bishop of London, The Rt Revd Richard Chartres, had to say about the apprenticeship proposals in the Enterprise Bill when he spoke in the debate about it in the House of Lords in October. Click here to read his comment.


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