Training reform awaits industry seal of approval

Posted on 25 Jul 2011 by The Manufacturer

Semta celebrates milestone in industry training reform as years of work on qualifications standards and delivery frameworks comes to fruition

Semta, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies have been promising to reform the delivery of traditional NVQ training for manufacturing employees for the last three years.

Today the SSC announced that it had reached a milestone in its mission to deliver employer lead skills as it unveiled 2000 new NVQ units which can be taken in modular steps in order to achieve 50 possible combinations with full NVQ level qualifications attached.

The modular nature of the training delivery allows manufacturing employers and employees to create company specific skills sets which can be developed without the requirement for extended periods of time away from the work place.

This work on NVQ training is only part of a broader initiative at Semta however. The SSC has also reviewed and approved 192 vocational qualification submissions from awarding organisations based on the new Qualifications and Credit Framework suite, an accredited standard for apprenticeship delivery formulated by Semta and approved by Ofqual earlier this year.

Commenting on the value of Semta’s work to skills development and security in industry Semta’s chief executive Philip Whiteman said:”The new qualifications developed with our awarding body partners will ensure that employers will be able to get greater impact from limited training budgets.”
He continued: “Engineering employers rightly insist on quality so our sector qualifications are robust and flexible, providing a clear and uncompromising standard of achievement.”

By laying strong foundations in NVQ modules and attaching them to a consistent framework for quality and relevance to current industry issues Semta hope to reinforce progress with its Apprenticeship Ambition Programme.

This scheme aims to open up access to apprenticeships, highlighting opportunities for both employers and trainees. The target is to double higher level apprenticeships by 2016 from a 2011 benchmark. In order to do this Semta has recognised the need to focus on increasing the availability of well regulated and trusted apprenticeship schemes within the UKs SME footprint.

Semta’s reform of vocational education for manufacturing has made a major impression on training providers and awarding organisations who say there confidence in delivering the right training in the right format for employers has been bolstered by Semta’s developments.

Iain Lonsdale at engineering awarding body EAL, said in response to the announcement of today’s benchmark: “The advice, guidance and support that EAL have received from Semta’s Standards and Qualifications team in relation to all aspects of the UK VQ Reform Programme has been fantastic.”