Sector skills council Semta, has launched the Operations and Quality Improvement Advanced Apprenticeship Framework to help businesses to upskill their workforce and take on new apprentices.
The framework is designed to educate engineering and manufacturing firms on the different skills, knowledge and understanding new employees need to sustain lean operations.
Focussing on the continuous and sustainable quality, cost and delivery improvements for products, processes or services that are fundamental to lean operations, the framework mainly concentrates on the needs of small to medium sized businesses.
Semta worked in partnership with large employers those in their supply chain to create the framework with the aim of creating a number of skilled people able to help businesses to become more productive while remaining competitive globally.
The importance of this framework is highlighted by the increase in B-IT NVQ take up at both Level 2 and 3. Over the last five years, over 72,000 B-IT Level 2 qualifications and 5,000 Level 3 qualifications have been awarded in the sector.
Chief executive of Semta Philip Whiteman pointed to the fact that the long term profitability and competitiveness of Britain’s manufacturing base depends on being able to manufacture high value added products more cost effectively, while beating international competition in terms of better quality and productivity.
Mr Whiteman commented: “Between 1998 and 2007 Gross Value Added productivity per engineering employee increased by 47%. Our new framework will help keep up this momentum.”
He added: “Semta is ideally placed to help businesses get a return from investing in apprentices by working closely with them to develop a workforce with high level skills tailored to their business. This is crucial as industry needs to recruit and train 82,000 engineers, scientists and technologists by 2016 and to upskill 363,000 of the technical workforce to achieve world class standards.”
Both the following qualifications need to be completed in the framework: Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Business-Improvement Techniques and the EAL Level 3 Diploma in Business-Improvement Techniques.