Progress in Trailblazer groups

GTA England has been invited to participate and contribute to the development of the
employer standard in both the Aerospace and Automotive groups. Although national employers are leading the arrangement there is a keen and genuine desire to
develop a standard that encompasses the needs of SMEs hence our involvement.

We have been heavily involved in the Aerospace Trailblazer for the Aerospace Manufacturing Fitter job role. This group includes BAE Systems, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, GKN, Marshall and Magellan in addition to the Professional Institutions and
the sector skills council. More recently we attended our first Automotive meeting. The following articulates progress in the Aerospace group however, both groups have been in close liaison and I’m delighted to report a good degree of synergy.

Progress to date has seen the establishment of the employer standard that embraces the Richard’s requirements for employers determining the standard that meets the
requirement of the Institutions Eng. Tech criteria; independent assessment; and grading (a binary grading for vocational competence and a consistent approach to pass, merit and
distinction for academic knowledge). An inclusive process has been endeavoured to be followed. Awarding Organisations have been commissioned to respond to consider approaches that include one award for both the vocational and academic Foundation stage. GTA England has held a focus group with SMEs to provide feedback on the proposed arrangements.

It is hoped that the current proposal, which has to be submitted to BIS and the Minister by 14th February, demonstrates stretch and added value as compared to existing arrangements yet still secures the participation of SME’s.

Richard Hamer, BAE systems and chair of the Aerospace Trailblazer group says, “this is an important development in the history of Apprenticeships and one that we are keen to support to enhance the current quality and rigour. We are very mindful of the role that SMEs play in the economy and have a strong desire to ensure that emerging arrangements are consistent with their needs. We are therefore delighted to be working with GTA England in
this regard…..”

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