CTSI and partners celebrate National Apprenticeship Week
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Institute of Licensing (IoL) are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week by showcasing the routes available to apprenticeships.
This year, National Apprenticeship Week runs from 5 - 11 February with the theme of Skills for Life - a week-long celebration that brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses, and the wider economy.
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 lead to an exciting career in Trading Standards and Environmental Health.
Trading Standards is responsible for a vast array of important consumer protection issues, for example, food labelling, illegal dog breeding, unsafe products, illegal vapes and tackling rogue traders.
Environmental Health is responsible for important issues such as; food, public health, housing, environmental protection, and health and safety.
For local authorities, recruiting a skilled workforce within their Trading Standards teams can be a challenge. However, along with our partners, we recognise 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.
James Munro, Chair of CTSI, said: “Apprenticeships are fundamentally important to the future of our Trading Standards profession and are key to bringing in much needed capacity to ensure the sustainability of the workforce. Trading Standards is an exciting and rewarding career choice for young people, or those looking to change career, and the apprenticeship providers that we work with play a crucial part in achieving this.
“In our Manifesto, which CTSI will be publishing shortly we are calling for the next Government to invest £14 Million for a dedicated Apprenticeship fund for Trading Standards to create 200 Apprenticeship places to bring in much needed resource into the profession to help protect consumers and safeguard legitimate businesses across the UK.”
CTSI is working with Scotland to develop their Modern Apprenticeship for Trading Standards and with Wales to develop their Level 4 Diploma in Regulatory Compliance 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.
The RCO apprenticeship at Babington is going from strength to strength. In 2023 there was a 25% increase in graduate numbers, and in 2024 a minimum of seven new cohorts means at least another 150 apprentices starting out on their regulatory compliance careers via this route.
Ian Simpson, Specialist Trainer of Regulatory Compliance at Babington, says: “. “The partnership with CTSI that recognises the RCO as part of the profession’s competency framework is working really well and is now an established route to career development”.
“What is also fantastic to observe is the transfer of learning between apprentices when attending workshops. The new cohort has learners based across the whole of England from Cornwall to London, the East of England, Midlands, and the Northwest. As well as Trading Standards learners come from national retailers, Environmental Health, and the Finance and Housing sectors.
The quality of the RCO remains excellent with 80% Distinctions and even a mention from OFSTED following the recent full inspection of Babington in December 2023.”
CTSI has worked with the Trailblazer Group to develop the new Level 6 Trading Standards Professional (TSP) apprenticeship, equivalent to a first degree, which will increase access to the profession. The Level 6 Trading Standards Professional (TSP) has now gained further alignment with CTSI’s qualification framework and the assessments for food and feed and the Food Standards Agency’s requirements. Therefore, those apprentices opting for studying Food and/or Feed will only need to complete their training and coursework, which CTSI will audit, and then undertake CTSI’s Qualifications Framework Food/Feed oral assessment, to gain the requisite competencies. This sits alongside other standalone competencies in food and feed that CTSI will be delivering in April, to increase the reach of the profession and the way it works with all sectors.
Fiona Macaskill, Director of Learning & Development at the Credit Services Association (CSA), said: “The CSA has been working closely with the CTSI since the inception of the Level 4 Regulatory Compliance Officer apprenticeship and we are delighted that our partnership and continued collaboration resulted in the launch of the popular Level 6 Trading Standards Apprenticeship in 2023.
“The CSA is again pleased to be supporting National Apprenticeship Week this year with the theme of Skills for Life, and we champion that message as apprenticeships offer a flexible training solution that can benefit both those starting out in their careers, and also more experienced workers who wish to upskill or reskill, as well as addressing workforce challenges often faced by employers such as recruitment and retention.”
Richard Strawson, Head of Trading Standards at Hampshire County Council, said: “Now we have a dedicated Trading Standards Professional apprenticeship, this provides an excellent option for people and ensures a pipeline of future Officers for the profession. Other apprenticeships are also used to develop existing staff, providing excellent 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.”
Apprenticeships in environmental health
Many environmental health teams in England include RCO apprentices and these are now being supplemented by the first candidates to graduate from the four-year BSc Environmental Health Practitioner apprenticeship. CIEH is also supporting members in Wales who are developing both RCO and degree level Environmental Health Practitioner apprenticeships there. Preparatory work has commenced on a Diploma level Housing Health Practitioner apprenticeship for England, and it is hoped that permission for this will be secured from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical education (IfATE) in the near future.
Jon Buttolph, Executive Director of Professional Standards at CIEH said “The sustainability of the environmental health profession is our key priority for 2024. The availability of apprenticeships is a vital component in producing the next cohort of practitioners. I am delighted with the enthusiasm shown for apprenticeships by our accredited Universities, employers and of course the apprentices themselves.”
Apprenticeships in licensing
The Institute of Licensing is currently working as part of the group reviewing the current apprenticeships available to licensing practitioners and is committed to apprenticeships as an excellent vehicle to encourage new entrants to public regulatory services.
Sue Nelson, Executive Officer at IoL said: “The IoL is committed to supporting apprenticeships which offer opportunities for new entrants to public regulation alongside career development in public regulatory professions. Licensing and other regulatory services are a vibrant and rewarding profession for young people to embark on as a positive career choice.”
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is a national not for profit established in 1881 which supports the UK’s trading standards profession and works to protect consumers and safeguard honest businesses. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services at local authorities and in businesses.
To find out everything you need to know about joining an apprenticeship for a career in Trading Standards then visit: www.tradingstandards.uk/apprenticeships
Please contact CTSI Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries.
About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)
CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing over 7,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Building on its rich heritage, CIEH ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved.
Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to our environment and our health.
About the Institute of Licensing (IoL)
The Institute of Licensing (IoL) is a registered charity and the professional body for licensing practitioners across the UK. IoL members include over 4,000 industry, public sector (local authorities and police) and private sector licensing practitioners from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.