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Lifting apprenticeship enters draft form

A draft proposal to develop an occupational standard for the provisionally titled ‘Lifting Equipment Technician’ apprenticeship has been devised, following a meeting of the Trailblazer Working Group (TWG). Convened by The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) on 27 and 28 March at the association’s headquarters in Huntingdon, the TWG worked with Sarah Walker, relationship manager at theInstitute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. The overall aim is to produce a useable product and get it to market by November 2019.

An excerpt from the proposal is as follows:

“The broad purpose of the occupation is to repair, maintain, modify, inspect, test, install and assemble lifting equipment to ensure its suitability and safety. They provide documentation and technical advice to customers and check that equipment is being maintained in accordance with statutory requirements. Additionally, the role may include the removal of equipment from service or decommissioning where it is considered to be unsafe and does not meet regulatory standards.

“Lifting Equipment Technicians are self-motivated problem solvers who work with organisations to resolve issues and come up with solutions to their everyday needs. They ensure the safety and suitability of the equipment used for lifting goods or people in order to meet regulatory requirements.”

The TWG will reconvene to discuss the next stage, which is the End Point Assessment (EPA), during another two-day event planned for the early part of June 2019. 

The draft proposal will be circulated to independent people, predominantly from engineering and manufacturing, who will examine the draft to ensure the apprenticeship is fit for purpose for the entire lifting industry and all sectors within. 

The TWG will seek training providers, including establishments such as colleges, and also achieve banding for funding – the intention is for the apprenticeship to be set at Level 3 (Advanced apprenticeships, which are equivalent to 2 A-level passes). The duration of the apprenticeship is provisionally 18 months.

The proposal will then go back to the Institute and the TWG, to see if any further amendments are required.

Baz Trewhella, LEEA’s learning and development projects specialist, who was tasked in 2018 to initiate a project for establishing an apprenticeship for the Lifting Industry, said the meeting held in March was “very productive as well as being a steep learning curve for all included”.

He added: “Apprenticeships can be for all ages, subject to an organisation’s requirements, but this development is particularly vital solution for an ageing lifting industry that currently attracts too few younger people. It is important that we market this new apprenticeship at the right level and integrate it with LEEA’s new Think Lifting school engagement programme. This programme sees association members receiving training and tools to equip them to visit local schools with the aim of encouraging young people into the industry, with the apprenticeship providing the entrance.”

Together with a the new 75-75 military transition scheme, these initiatives are part of LEEA’s 75th anniversary’s mission to look forward as well as celebrate the past. Ross Moloney, CEO of LEEA said: “While cherishing the huge amount of skill and legacy knowledge held by our industry, the apprenticeship, linked to LEEA’s new Think Lifting schools engagement programme, are vital in ensuring sustainability for our industry. We can look forward to the apprenticeship not only bringing young people into our industry but also acting as a conduit for delivering the new ideas and fresh thinking that will bring the industry into the 21st century.” 

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