Supporting UK Composites


Apprenticeships in Composite Materials

All existing Apprenticeships are scheduled to end by 2017. It is important to move quickly to develop new apprenticeships specifically for the Composites sectors. To this end, Composites UK and its members are supporting the development of a Composites Technician Trailblazer Apprenticeship.

The Trailblazers will give employers the opportunity to lead the development of new Apprenticeship standards and the high-level assessment approaches that sit alongside them. Once approved, the standards developed by Trailblazers will become the Apprenticeship standard for the occupations and will move through the process to delivery.

Trailblazer Apprenticeship – Composite Technician

Existing apprenticeship programmes will be abolished by the end of 2017. These are replaced by trailblazer apprenticeships (launched 2014).

Take part in our 2 minute poll to help with the development of the scheme.

Composites UK is supporting the development of a Composite Technician Apprenticeship through regular industry meetings - this will ensure that we design a truly fit for purpose Cross-Sector Composites Technician Apprenticeship. To find out how you can get involved contact the office.The apprenticeship was approved for standards development on 12th March 2015. Click here for more details.                                                                                              

The apprenticeship will be a 3-4 year shceme and will comprise 4 key elements:

  • NVQ at level 2 and 3
  • Technical certificate with mandatory and optional units to allow flexibility
  • Maths at level 2
  • Behaviours

We are currently developing the technical certificate content and seeking industry involvement to ensure it is fit for purpose. If you would like to find out more or wish to be involved, please contact Brian Thornton at the National Composites Centre who is coordinating the development.

Small Business Travel Fund
The Small Businesses Travel Fund has been extended another year to March 2017 enabling small businesses to claim reimbursement of travel costs following participation at trailblazer meetings.  Since its inception in September 2015 to March 2016 there has been a steady take-up by small businesses claiming reimbursements of travel costs.  If you are participating in an Apprenticeship Trailblazer and have a need for this fund please access the guidance and claim form which is at Annex 2: Trailblazer Small Business Travel Fund - guidance for claimants  on Gov.UK.

Apprenticeship Grants

There are grants of up to £1,500 available to businesses with less than 50 employees who take on an apprentice aged between 16 and 24 years old.

New funding model for Apprenticeships

The government has published (12th Aug) proposals for a new funding model for apprenticeships and further details on the apprenticeship levy. The funding will support people of all ages to gain high-quality skills and experience and help employers to offer more training opportunities and build a skilled workforce.

Under the plans for the levy, the government has proposed that employers that are too small to pay the levy - around 98% of employers in England - will have 90% of the costs of training paid for by the government, reassuring millions of small businesses.

Extra support - worth £2,000 per trainee - will also be available for employers and training providers that take on 16- to 18-year-old apprentices or young care leavers. Employers with fewer than 50 employees will also have 100% of training costs paid for by government if they take on these apprentices. This will help to ensure every young person, regardless of background or ability, has the chance to make their first step into work.

For more detail click here.

Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship levy will be introduced in April 2017.  It will be payable on annual wage bills of more than £3 million.  Only 2% of UK employers will be required to pay the Levy.  All employers will have access to funding for Apprenticeship training through the levy. 

For details on paying the levy and how to spend your funds click here

BIS has issued guidance on what this means - access the guidance here.


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