Construction, utilities and energy specialist Develop Training Ltd (DTL) is rolling out a new apprenticeship programme aimed at tackling the engineering skills crisis.
It follows a pilot programme for Integrated Water Services (IWS), an engineering company, part of SSI Services and one of its main customers – South Staffs Water. DTL will now be delivering the ‘MOET’ scheme for them in various parts of the country.
The training company has seen strong interest in the new programme from major players in the energy, utilities and construction sector, including Affinity Water, who will be starting the programme in May.
MOET (maintenance and operations engineering technician) is a new apprenticeship standard designed to fill the skills shortage across the engineering industry in sectors ranging from mechanical engineering to wind turbines and even the food industry.
The shortage of skilled engineers in the UK has reached chronic levels since the 2008 recession and the cutbacks in training that followed. That situation, coupled with new initiatives such as Trailblazer Apprenticeships and the Apprenticeship Levy, has focused the attention of big organisations on this form of training.
DTL’s MOET programme combines a flexible learning approach with bespoke training, so that apprentices qualify with the particular skill set that they will need to operate as qualified technicians within their sponsoring company.
Paul Mansfield, DTL’s MOET team leader, said: “IWS and South Staffs Water were the first companies to approach us after the government introduced the new standard, and we now have a number of customers in various fields interested in our approach, including other energy suppliers and engineering businesses.”
DTL has developed a three-phase modular platform allowing delegates to share a common training programme in the first two phases before specialising in the third phase towards becoming an electrical, mechanical or electromechanical technician.
Because each programme is created specifically for the customer, it covers the outcomes, systems and standards that the employer needs, so there is no need to retrain as there might be after an off-the-shelf course.
The academic portion of the course ensures apprentices achieve a core set of necessary behaviours and skills. They qualify with a nationally recognised MOET apprenticeship standard in one of seven pathways. This standard meets the professional standards of the Engineering Council for registration as Engineering Technician (Eng Tech) by an appropriate Professional Engineering Institution.
DTL plans to roll out its MOET offer more widely this summer, extending the current portfolio of three classes of engineering apprenticeships to cover the full range covered by the standard.