South Leicestershire college launches new engineering apprenticeship

Pictured above: Powered access apprentices at MTI. Image credit: Dylan Parrin Submitted by NWSLC

Leicestershire college students this week have access to a new specialist engineering apprenticeship that addresses the demand for powered access skills. North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) will become one of the first training providers in the UK to offer the ‘Lift Truck and Powered Access’ technician apprenticeship. Apprentices from a variety of businesses including: Access Engineering, Versalift, Mainline Group, 1 Up Access, Horizon Platforms, CTE UK Ltd, Southern Platforms, and GT Access will help develop a range of skills.

This includes the service, repair, and maintenance of lift trucks and powered access vehicles, widely used in industries including logistics, manufacturing, construction, and engineering. Supporting the launch of the new apprenticeship standard, the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) attended the apprentices’ first session at the college’s MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) campus which is dedicated to providing skills for the automotive sector. Peter Douglas, IPAF’s CEO and MD, said: “It’s fantastic to meet these apprentices just starting out on their road to becoming fully qualified engineers specialising in mobile elevating work platforms.

“This is something our industry has been crying out for and is an excellent step both to recognising and certifying existing talent and attracting bright new people into a career in powered access.”

IPAF promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide.

Peter said: “I’d like to compliment NWSLC for rolling out provision to support these apprenticeship places – already the next two cohorts of apprenticeships to begin in autumn of this year seem on course to be fully subscribed.” See which businesses are declaring themselves #BackForGood near you by entering your postcode below or visit InYourArea

The lift truck and powered access apprenticeship, which leads to a Level 3 qualification, will support apprentices from across the UK to attend college for two weeks every ten weeks on a block release basis. Classroom-based theory will be studied at the MTI with practical workshop sessions taking place at the college’s specialist Harrowbrook Campus in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Katy Urwin, Director for Apprenticeships at NWSLC, said: “We are delighted to mark the launch of this new apprenticeship standard, which is critically important to the mechanical handling industry and marks a step change in the type and quality of skills delivery that businesses can expect.

“The apprenticeship has been specifically designed in collaboration with employers in the powered access space, and we are delighted to be one of the first colleges in the UK to roll it out.”

NWSLC has already received a positive response from industry partners on its plans to offer the new apprenticeship and expects to commence its second intake from September 2021. Katy Urwin said: “There has never been a better time to invest in apprenticeships as organisations can currently benefit from grants of up to GBP4,000 for training. “Employers that take on a new apprentice of any age by September 2021 will benefit from a GBP3,000 payment in addition to the GBP1,000 already provided for organisations that recruit apprentices aged 16 to 18, or those aged under 25 with an education, health, and care plan.

Funding to train existing employees or new recruits can be accessed through the Apprenticeship Levy or Levy Transfer Scheme. Businesses that are interested in finding out more should call 0330 058 3000 or email here. NWSLC has campuses in in Nuneaton, Hinckley, Harrowbrook, and Wigston, Leicestershire.

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