New apprenticeships on the way for recycling and waste sector

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Tailored apprenticeships for resource and waste management are one step closer as an employer-led group set up to develop two new waste management and recycling Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards has been given the green light to proceed.

The Expressions of Interest for the first two standards – for a Level 2 Resource Operative and a Level 4 Resource Technical Manager – have been approved and the full standard and assessment plan for each apprenticeship will now be developed. A Level 3 standard for Supervisors is also being considered for future submission.

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The Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards differ from previous apprenticeships available in England in that they must be employer-led, are not structured around qualifications, require 20% off-the-job learning, and have an End Point Assessment.

CIWM and WAMTAB are represented on the employer-led group for the waste and recycling sector, which is chaired by Veolia and for which Energy & Utility Skills, the expert voice on workforce issues in the sector, is providing secretariat support. There are also two other Trailblazer Apprenticeships being developed under separate initiatives for metals waste and street cleansing.

The new apprenticeships are funded through a levy paid by all large employers in the UK with a pay bill of over £3 million/year and, in England, these employers can then recoup their levy by enrolling staff onto apprenticeship programmes. Smaller companies are not required to pay the levy but those based in England can get 90% funded apprenticeships if they put in 10% of the costs.

Apprenticeships are a devolved policy area, and while all companies above the £3m payroll threshold will be required to pay the levy, the funding may not be used exclusively for apprenticeships in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, where the approach to apprenticeship design and delivery is different.

“This is a very positive development and we are delighted to be part of the group that is leading on this,” said CIWM chief executive Colin Church (pictured). “Turning waste into a resource and adopting more circular economic practices is becoming a priority for business and this represents a welcome opportunity to try and ensure these important and fundamental ‘green’ skills are recognised and promoted.”