Development of NDT Apprenticeships wins 2019 FE Week and AELP ‘Outstanding Contribution (Provider)’ Award

April 2nd, 2019

Skills Training UK’s investment in developing and launching new Apprenticeships in NDT has been recognised with a national award at the 2019 FE Week and Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) Annual Apprenticeship Conference (AAC) Apprenticeship Awards.

We are delighted to have won the Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Apprenticeships (Provider) Award for establishing and growing Apprenticeships in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) for STEM sectors.

The Level 2 NDT Operator and Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeship programmes, as well as the Level 6 NDT Engineer Degree in partnership with the University of Northampton, were launched by Skills Training UK during 2017/18.

Previously, employers had to pay for employees to attend several training courses to complete industry certifications. Our delivery model has made the process simpler, less time-consuming, and more cost-effective by providing an end-to-end service for employers and by establishing formal contracts with specialist NDT training schools to provide the technical elements of the Apprenticeships. We also offer a recruitment service which is helping employers to bring in and develop younger talent.

We have invested in specialist staff across the sector with high levels of training and industry expertise, including at Tata Steel. We have also developed existing staff to support the delivery of Kaizen projects using lean principles.

Employers in sectors including engineering, aerospace and nuclear have welcomed the new Apprenticeships and in the past 18 months we have become the largest NDT Apprenticeships provider in the UK.

In 2019 we opened the NDT Innovation and Training Centre in partnership with GB Inspection Systems Ltd in the West Midlands to give new opportunities for young people to progress into materials testing Apprenticeships and to promote social mobility.

Stephen Crawley, Chief Operating Officer of Skills Training UK, said: “We are delighted to win this award and I’d like to thank The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) for their support and the specialist NDT training schools who have helped us provide the end-to-end service for employers which is simple and cost-effective for them. They all offer something quite unique and can provide relevant technical method training and examinations for employers and Apprentices across England.

“Our strategy has excited employers to recruit new talent and upskill employees with new NDT Apprenticeship Standards.”

Our partner specialist NDT training schools are: Aerospace Inspection Testing (AIT); IMechE Argyll Ruane; International School of Aerospace NDT; Lavender International; South West School of NDT; Testia; and TWI (The Welding Institute).

Roger Lyon, Project Manager for Apprenticeship schemes and a Director of BINDT, said: “In terms of NDT Apprenticeships, Skills Training UK started with a blank sheet of paper and within a very short space of time has become extremely successful and has surpassed the expectations of the Professional Body and the Employer Group.”

At the same event, Martin Dunford OBE, Chief Executive of Skills Training UK and Chair of AELP, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his crucial role in the development of the further education sector over the last two decades. Judges described Martin as being “truly a champion of social mobility in that he and his team deliver on it as well as promote it”.

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of AELP, said: “Providers, employers and apprentices never fail to rise to fresh challenges and the award winners perfectly illustrate why.”

The accolades capped off a remarkable week of outstanding national recognition for Skills Training UK, which was crowned Training Provider of the Year at the 2019 Times Education Supplement (Tes) FE Awards and shortlisted as a national finalist in the Training Partner of the Year category at the 2019 SEMTA Skills Awards.

The second annual FE Week and AELP AAC Awards, which celebrate excellence in Apprenticeship delivery, were held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham on March 28.

Photo caption 1: Stephen Crawley, Chief Operating Officer (left) and Graham Clarke, Director of Education and Social Mobility at Skills Training UK with the Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Apprenticeships (Provider) Award at the FE Week and AELP AAC Apprenticeship Awards 2019. Credit: FE Week

Photo caption 2: Skills Training UK Level 2 NDT Operator Apprentice Ethan Miller at GB Inspection Systems Ltd in the West Midlands. Credit: Skills Training UK