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CTSI and partners celebrate National Apprenticeship Week

Posted 06/02/23

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Institute of Licensing (IoL) are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week by encouraging employers to explore the opportunity of apprentices

This year, National Apprenticeship Week runs from 6 - 12 February with the theme of Skills for Life, reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals develop the skills and knowledge needed for a rewarding career while helping businesses develop a talented and diverse workforce that is equipped with skills for the future.

CTSI, CIEH and IoL are working together to promote the benefits of apprenticeships to both individuals and businesses, and the ways in which apprenticeships can improve diversity, sustainability and productivity for organisations.

Employment challenges
For local authorities, recruiting a skilled workforce within their Trading Standards teams can be a challenge. However, along with our partners, we recognize that apprenticeships can be the perfect solution to this problem. As well as offering talented individuals the opportunity to gain real-life experience and on the job training while earning a salary, they give businesses a cost-effective way to nurture new and enthusiastic talent. It has also been found that 90% of apprentices stay in their place of work after completing their apprenticeship. RCO apprenticeship

For individuals looking to pursue a career within the Trading Standards profession, the Regulatory Compliance Officer (RCO) apprenticeship offers a clear route. The RCO is an approved standard under the apprenticeship framework allowing England-based employers to draw in the apprenticeship levy to fund training and endpoint assessment.

Richard Strawson, Head of Trading Standards at Hampshire County Council, said: “I have been recruiting apprentices in Trading Standards for a number of years. The application process is smooth, and the associated training provides excellent knowledge to apprentices, underpinning on the job development.

“Apprenticeships genuinely equip entrants to the trading standards profession with the skills and knowledge they need to do a great job.”

Babington has been successfully delivering the Regulatory Compliance Officer Apprenticeship for four years now, with 150 new starters expected to join in 2023.

Ian Simpson, Specialist Trainer of Regulatory Compliance at Babington, says: “Our apprentices vary in age from 19 to mid-50s. We see employers recruiting new younger staff and also retraining older workers and giving them new career opportunities too. One recent trend is an increase in the ethnic diversity of apprentices, with those identifying as in an ethnic minority group growing from 11% to 22%.

“As with all apprenticeships the RCO focusses heavily on developing transferable skills. RCO apprentices develop their competence to risk assess, to inspect, to investigate and to advise. These are great ‘skills for life’ and enable them to successfully move between services and employer, if they so wish.”

CTSI is also looking forward to the launch of the Level 6 Trading Standards Professional apprenticeship, which will increase access to the profession.

Apprenticeships in environmental health

The Environmental Health Practitioner BSc Apprenticeship (currently only available in England) lasts for four years, and on completion the apprentice will gain a degree-level qualification and the Environmental Health apprenticeship certificate from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

This apprenticeship enables employers to shape future practitioners as they progress through their training, while also having additional staff to undertake existing work. And for those entering the profession, it is much more accessible and ideal for those who would not be able to afford university fees.

Jon Buttolph, CIEH Associate Director of Membership & Professional Development said: “We know local authorities are facing recruitment challenges and we believe apprenticeships play an important role in environmental health workforce planning and can help employers build a sustainable team, which is why we are encouraging employers to look at our toolkit of resources to help them set up an apprenticeship.”

Apprenticeships in licensing
The Institute of Licensing is starting work to develop a specialist licensing apprenticeship to support licensing practitioners across the country. This will be a fantastic development for the IoL and will support its members in encouraging new routes into licensing careers.

Sue Nelson, Executive Officer at IoL said: “The IoL is committed to developing a specialist licensing apprenticeship to support career development in licensing and to encourage new entrants into the profession. We aim to highlight licensing as a vibrant and rewarding profession for young people to embark on as a positive career choice.”

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