Press release

Employers unveil new industry designed apprenticeships

Hundreds more top employers have joined the government’s successful Trailblazers programme to design high quality apprenticeships.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Hundreds more top employers have joined the government’s successful Trailblazers programme to design high quality apprenticeships in everything from renewable energy to video games, Skills Minister Nick Boles has today (12 March 2015) announced.

More than 200 new employers have joined the 1,000 plus organisations already designing apprenticeships. The Trailblazer initiative allows groups of employers to join together to design apprenticeships that develop the skills of their current and future workforce. Today’s announcement pushes the total number of Trailblazer groups to over 100.

The announcement comes alongside the news that existing Trailblazer groups have also today been given the green light to develop more apprenticeships including mortgage advisor and software developer.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

I am delighted to announce that these 200 new employers will be designing top quality apprenticeships.

Giving leading firms from British Gas to video games manufacturer Ubisoft the power to design and deliver high quality apprenticeships, means we can ensure more young people have the skills our economy vitally needs. Apprenticeships play a key role in the success of our long term economic plan and, with more than 2 million apprenticeships started since 2010, I am proud to say our reforms are delivering for businesses and young people.

The announcement comes alongside the news that more than 50 employer designed apprenticeships ranging from Boatbuilder to Chartered Surveyor to Outside Broadcast Engineer have been approved by the government, with some aiming to have their first apprentice starts as early as September 2015.

John McEvoy, Head of Production for PRG UK, leading a new Trailblazer in the Live Events Industry, said:

As suppliers to the live events industry we wholeheartedly support the idea of apprenticeships being developed by employers. Apprenticeships are an ideal route in to our sector, with on the job training allowing people to gain the skills they need to work with rapidly developing specialist technology.

Employers and apprentices will gather today at Elstree Film Studios in Hertfordshire to celebrate the hard work and success of those involved in the Trailblazer programme. The reception, held in partnership with the British Fashion Council and the Fashion Trailblazer, will see employers and apprentices in industries including finance and law showcasing their work and sharing best practice.

Aaron Coulson, New Talent Manager at National Grid who have been involved in the Trailblazer programme since October 2013 said:

Tackling the skills shortage crisis isn’t just a challenge for National Grid, it affects the whole energy and utilities sector. The Trailblazer apprentice is a perfect example of Energy companies working together to find a solution for the industry as a whole, teaching specific skills to the required standard.

New research published today highlights the value of giving employers the power to design apprenticeships that can address the skills needs identified by industry. The research, which was collected via interviews with employers and other groups involved in the Trailblazer programme, shows that allowing employers to design new apprenticeships leads to a greater understanding of the skills and competencies that apprentices will gain and the relevance of these to their organisation as well as a greater trust in the quality of training.

Trailblazer case study

Clea Yeates

Started on the Power Network Craftsperson trailblazer apprenticeship with UK Power Networks in October 2014

Clea Yeates, 18, from Feltham, is one of 29 recruits chosen from 749 applicants to join UK Power Networks’ popular trailblazer apprenticeship scheme. Over the next 3 years, Clea will prepare to join the skilled teams who keep power flowing to more than a quarter of Britain’s population 24 hours a day. They specialise in overhead power lines (linesmen), underground cables (jointers) or electricity substations (fitters), gaining practical on-the-job training and nationally-recognised qualifications.

Clea said:

I wanted to be with a good company that had a good reputation. I studied electrical installations at college but didn’t want to remain working on household electrics. I wanted to go bigger. It’s always going to be different and the way the company is organised is really professional.

The apprentices shadow experienced staff, participate in a 24-hour standby rota and have a gradual introduction to field work. After they qualify, they can complete more advanced qualifications and can apply for the company’s supported studies programme to advance their careers. Many former apprentices have progressed to become senior managers within the company.

Notes to editors

  1. The 26 new trailblazers are to design apprenticeships in 35 occupations while existing Trailblazers have been approved to design a further 34 apprenticeships.
  2. Today’s announcement of 56 newly approved standards and 69 more in development takes the number of approved standards to over 120 and number of standards in development to over 150.
  3. For more information on apprenticeships visit
  4. The first 8 trailblazers began in October 2013. The standards produced by trailblazers will become the blueprint for apprenticeships in those occupations.
  5. For a full list of standards approved so far visit Apprenticeship standards
  6. For a full list of standards in development visit Apprenticeship standards in development
  7. Apprenticeship progress report published today is available at Apprenticeship reforms: progress report
  8. The department has also published today a statement of how we will ensure high quality in the new Apprenticeships
  9. Join the conversation online using the hashtags #100ReasonsWhy #GetInGoFar # NAW2015

New Trailblazers launched today

Trailblazer/Sector Standard/Occupation
New Trailblazers  
Thermal Insulation Engineering Thermal Insulation Engineer
Visual Effects Junior 2D Artist , Assistant Technical Director
Bespoke Tailoring Tailoring & Cutting
Painting & Decorating Decorative Finishing & Industrial Painter
Sea Fishing Deckhand
Electrical and Electronic Appliances Electrical, Electronic Appliance Servicing & Installation
Trade Business Services Trade Business Services
Energy (Gas) Gas Service Engineer
Farriery Farrier
Events Industry Events Management
Civil Engineering Civil Engineering Technician
Power Protection, Installation & Commissioning Technician
Video Games Quality Assurance Technician/Analyst
Wood Sawmilling
Children, Young People & Families Children, Young People & Families Worker , Children, Young People & Families Supervisor , Practitioner in Residential Childcare , Manager in Residential Childcare
Renewable Energy Biomass Installation Engineer
Ophthalmology Ophthalmic Technician
Fabrication Fabrication Welder
Papermaking Papermaking Operator , Papermaking Technician , Papermaking Supervisor
Creative Industries Creative Content Assistant
Construction & Engineering IT Systems IoT & Cyber – Physical Systems (2 standards), Smart Systems Information & Security (2 standards)
Live Events Live Event Technician
Live Events Rigging Live Events Rigger
Saddlery Saddler
Printing Print Finisher, Prepress Operative and Printer
Smart Meter Installation Smart Meter Installer (Dual Fuel)
Existing Trailblazers  
Digital Industries Digital Business Administrator, IT Support, Software Development Technician, IT Services & Sales Technician, Telecoms & Unified Comms, Business Analyst, Information & Cyber Security, Digital Business Specialist
Financial Services Mortgage Advisor , Credit Controller
Nuclear Nuclear Engineer
Food & Drink Logistics Operator/Manager, Supply Chain Operator/Manager , Continuous Improvement Technician , Continuous Improvement Manager , Fishmonger
Accountancy Assistant Accountant
Construction Steelfixing , Lifting Technician
Maritime Defence Maritime Pipeworker, Maritime Maintenance Mechanical/Electrical Mechanic , Maritime Fabricator, Maritime Electrical Fitter
Insurance Insurance Professional
Earth Sciences & Geology Extractive Plant Mobile Service Engineer , Mineral Products Weighbridge Operations
Aviation Aviation Ground Specialist, Aviation Operations Supervisor, Aviation Operations Manager,
Early Years Services Leader, Quality Improvement Leader, Health & Well-being Leader, Assistant Equalities Named Coordinator , Lead Equalities Named Coordinator

Trailblazer standards approved today

Trailblazer Standard
Advanced Manufacturing Machinist (Advanced Manufacturing Engineering)
Aerospace Aerospace Engineer
Aerospace Aerospace Software Development Engineer
Aerospace Aviation Maintenance Mechanic (Military)
Aerospace Survival Equipment Fitter
Airworthiness Aircraft Maintenance Certifying Engineer (Fixed and Rotary Wing)
Airworthiness Airworthiness Planning, Quality & Safety Technician
Boatbuilding Boatbuilder
Building Services Engineering Building Services Engineering Craftsperson
Building ServicesEngineering Building Services Engineering Installer
Composites Composites Technician
Construction Digital Engineering Technician
Construction Carpentry and Joinery
Construction Advanced Carpentry and Joinery
Defence Systems Engineering Masters Level
Dental Health Dental Nurse
Digital Industries Digital & Technology Solutions Professional
Electronic Systems Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development Engineer
Energy & Utilities Gas Network Craftsperson
Energy & Utilities Gas Network Team Leader
Engineering, Design & Draughting Engineering design & draughtsperson
Facilities Management Facilities Management Supervisor
Financial Services Financial Services Customer Adviser
Financial Services Investment Operations Administrator
Financial Services Investment Operations Specialist
Financial Services Investment Operations Technician
Financial Services Senior Financial Services Customer Adviser
Financial Services Workplace Pensions Administrator/Consultant
Fire & Rescue Business Fire Safety Advisor
Furniture Furniture Manufacturer
Healthcare Healthcare Assistant Practitioner
Healthcare Healthcare Support Worker
HM Armed Forces HM Forces Public Services Operational Delivery (Uniformed)
Hospitality Chef De Partie
Hospitality Commis Chef
Hospitality Hospitality Manager
Hospitality Hospitality Supervisor
Hospitality Hospitality Team Member
Housing Senior Housing/Property Management
Life & Industrial Sciences Laboratory Scientist
Management Consultancy Junior Management Consultant
Maritime Defence Maritime Mechanical Fitter
Nuclear Nuclear Health Physics Monitor
Nuclear Nuclear Welding Inspection Technician
Plumbing & DomesticHeating Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician
Public Sector Public Sector Commercial Professional
Rail Engineering Rail Engineering Operative
Rail Engineering Rail Engineering Technician
Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Engineering Technician
Retail Retail Manager
Retail Retail Team Leader
Security Management Security First Line Manager
Surveying Chartered Surveyor
Surveying Surveying Technician
Transport Transport Planning Technician
TV Production & Broadcasting Outside Broadcast Engineer
Published 12 March 2015