In January 2015, Composites UK launched its Composites Assured Practitioner Scheme (CAP), which is working to produce standardised guidelines by which the competency of employees can be internally assessed across a wide range of technologies, processes and methodologies. This enables companies to identify skills gaps, develop a training matrix for their staff if required and better match project requirements to workforce capability – ultimately this leads to reduced scrap rates and reduced costs.
Ten months on the Association is catching up with Aim Composites and Aircelle, two companies who are working together through the pilot scheme, to gather their thoughts on what they’ve achieved and the value they feel the scheme will bring to the composites community.
Aircelle’s Stephen Dyer said of joining the CAP Scheme; “As a nationally recognised standard for the UK Composites industry, the CAP Scheme, with its three competency levels (bronze, silver and gold) helps Aircelle assess its current team from a knowledge and competency standpoint. This will help us to provide assistance and training where necessary to bring all employees to the desired level.”
David Howell of Aim added; “Our initial interest was driven by the ability the CAP Scheme would provide with regard to evaluating new applicants, within a standard competence level, prior to employment.”
Of course, for an initiative like the CAP Scheme to work, buy-in from employees is imperative and there must be value for the company as a whole. David continued; “AIM has opened a training facility on site and appointed a Training Officer as direct progression of the CAP scheme and continue to work even closer with Aircelle. All employees, clean room operators in particular, have fully engaged and are now requesting assessment under the scheme.”
Stephen said of the engagement at Aircelle; “The CAP scheme has helped to improve employee engagement, as with a lot of new ideas the scheme was greeted with some trepidation by a few. However as the assessments have been carried out, participants have had the opportunity to display the many talents they possess – some of which, they didn’t realise they had. This has encouraged many other operators to take part in the scheme and increasingly they are doing so with enthusiasm rather than fear. The operators seem to appreciate that by becoming CAP accredited they help both themselves and the business to advance.
“The CAP assessment has already been used during our internal processes for A320 and A330neo operators. They were taken through the bronze level of the assessment and in all cases attainment exceeded the 85% acceptance level.”
With regards to customers, both Aim and Aircelle say that the improved operations that the CAP Scheme brings has a positive effect on customers. David added; “As the scheme brings a predetermined skill level, which can be evaluated to a national standard prior to any order placement, it can only assist to influence a prospective customer’s choice. Once having made that decision the customer can rely on the proven competence of our workforce to deliver quality, repeatability and on time delivery.”
Stephen added; “We’ve used the CAP scheme criteria to identify the correct operators to work on new projects, placing the right team to meet future challenges. New products go into service with zero concessions and as such, we need to have a fully capable workforce striving for ‘Right First Time’.”
If you would like to find out more about how the CAP scheme can bring value to your company and workforce, contact Composites UK and request an initial meeting.
Photo courtesy of AIM Altitude.