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Energy

The Role of Apprenticeships

Report Segment: Energy Apprenticeships

The challenge to train people ‘just in time’ for industry requirements is a perpetual conundrum. It requires employers to take risks and invest in future resource needs – and the best way of achieving this is through apprenticeships – a point picked up by Nautilus Associates:

“The majority questioned believe the biggest area of shortage will be at craft or technician level where some form of apprenticeship with specialist modules of training is required” (Nautilus - Skills for Energy Feasibility Study Report - Executive Summary -Page 3).

Apprenticeships and the role of FE “It was the consensus that the education sector should largely concentrate on academic and generic technical skills to prepare young people for further education or skills training but with the latter in conjunction with industry.”

(Nautilus - Skills for Energy Feasibility Study Report - Executive Summary page 4).

The further education sector is meant to provide a vocational training environment. Employers are an integral part of that system, which is why apprenticeships largely take place on the employer’s premises (although both the OPITO and ECITB scheme have at least a year off site in a training environment before starting at the employers premises). The idea that FE should simply be providing generic classroom based education is a misunderstanding of the role of FE. It may be that employers simply don’t understand how they can participate in existing apprenticeship schemes. Certainly more collaboration between skills stakeholders such as ECITB, OPITO and local colleges would help give employers greater confidence in the role of FE which in turn would be encouraged towards greater employer responsiveness.