SOE leads apprenticeship development

The Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) is playing a major part in the development of three new commercial vehicle apprenticeship standards.

The standards are part of the government’s Trailblazer scheme, a UK-wide, employer-led initiative to design apprenticeship standards that respond to the needs of their industries. Current standards cover a wide range of sectors, from accountancy to renewable energy, and undergo a thorough process of development and approval.

The three standards that SOE is helping to develop are for Heavy Vehicle Service and Maintenance Technician, Bus and Coach Technician, and Bus and Coach Engineering Manager. The group overseeing their development, which includes SOE, comprises of representatives from over a dozen operators and manufacturers, and is collaborating with assessment organisations and training partners to determine the detailed content, and how they will be taught and assessed.

The group is currently developing assessment plans ready for submission to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in the first quarter of 2016; if successful, the new standards should be ready for delivery in September 2016.
‘These bus, coach and HGV standards will benefit these sectors by putting the onus on training providers to ensure that apprentices are equipped with the skills and knowledge of, not just existing, but of latest and emerging technologies,’ explained Lloyd Mason EngTech FSOE FIRTE, engineering development manager for Arriva UK Bus, who is chairing the development group.

The new standards will be mapped to the requirements of Engineering Council’s UK-SPEC, meaning that, on completion, an apprentice will be eligible to apply for registration at EngTech level.