2017 is a year of growth and opportunity for composites manufacturers as the new Composites Technician apprenticeship launched this month.
The modular training was developed by an Industrial Steering Group of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) offering employers a new and valuable tool in how they can attract, train and develop talent within their businesses and is set to make a significant contribution in addressing the skills shortages in Composites using industries.
Dean Jones (Rolls Royce), Industrial Steering Group Chair, said: “The approval by Government of the Composites Technician Apprenticeship is a significant milestone and we can now train apprentices on composites part manufacture making sure the content of the qualification meets the needs of all the industrial sectors manufacturing composites parts”.
The Industrial Steering Group has developed the content of a new BTEC qualification with support from awarding body, Pearsons. The apprenticeship is underway with colleges and training providers delivering the content of the BTec and the training elements of the NVQ . Companies within the composites industry are already leading the way with their new apprentices starting the program this month.
Having eight mandatory units, which include materials, processes, design and defect detection, the training programme has been designed to provide the apprentice with a broad understanding of all elements of composites manufacture. This will enable cross-industry movement of people in the future. In addition, there are 10 optional units which enable the trainee to focus on specific areas and gain a deeper understanding in the specific operations the company requires. The number of the optional units will be increased as industry demand dictates and new processes and materials are developed.
Dean Jones continued: “In the past, companies manufacturing in composite materials have had to train their apprentices in the principles of metallic manufacturing. Now there is a specific apprenticeship programme designed and developed by composites manufacturers to address this issue. The government’s commitment to support apprenticeships means that many companies can now train new and existing staff at low or no cost.”
“We constantly hear how skills gaps and shortages are constraining growth and productivity, and how new recruits and even contractors lack the skills to perform required tasks. Well, the new Composites Technician Apprenticeship is set to address this serious issue and as the many sectors which manufacture composites parts is set to grow exponentially, this is welcome news.”
If you would like more information about which colleges are offering the apprenticeship in 2017/18, please contact Brian Thornton, Program Coordinator, at the National Composites Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-composites-technician.