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Swatpro at the forefront of Apprentice Standards


As the new Apprentice Standards roll out, among the first out-of-the-door to get its trainees upskilled with the new industry-approved certification has been Swatpro partner Bluescreen IT.

Bluescreen provide ITC training all across the South-West. They have just seen their first apprentice complete the new Standards qualification. Mike Willcocks achieved his Level 3 digital apprenticeship as a Network Infrastructure Technician.

Allison Wallace of Bluescreen was delighted with Mike’s progress, and pleased her company is at the forefront of the new apprenticeship system.

“With Apprentice Standards, trainees have to work to demonstrate skills, knowledge and behaviour in their chosen role.

“They have to produce worthwhile projects, problem-solve, demonstrate how they achieve their results.

“As well as gaining the basic knowledge, there is a lot of soft learning around the skills necessary to apply that knowledge in the workplace.”

Mike’s two-year route to qualification was made easier when the government appointed End Point Assessor organisations last year.

“We were waiting for it, but now that has been sorted out, we know what to expect and everything should run smoothly,” says Allison.

Her organisation has two more digital apprentices heading towards qualification, and 18 more at an earlier stage of their journey. Demand is high.

As for Mike, he is delighted with the internationally recognised certification he has earned as part of his apprenticeship.

“The Apprentice Standards hold a lot more weight in the industry than a degree or anything like that,” says Allison.

“Apprentices acquire vendor qualifications enabling them to work with a range of technologies. Real-life skills that real-life employers want.

“It’s the best possible base from which to work your way up in the industry,” she adds.

By 2020, the government is planning to phase out Apprenticeship Frameworks to replace them with the newer Apprenticeship Standards.

Their reasoning is simple: employer feedback documented in the Richard Review was telling them that the Frameworks system didn’t leave them with adequately trained people in some cases, and they were having to supplement the scheme.

For further information about the new Apprentice Standards, click here.

Swatpro at the forefront of Apprentice Standards