News has recently broken that the BINDT (British Institute of Non Destructive Testing) has received approval from the UK Government for a new apprenticeship standard for NDT (Non Destructive Testing).
With the support of some 58 employers committed to taking the 200 apprentices per year this can only be a positive thing for an industry that struggles to recruit the next generation of talented testers.
From the perspective of the apprentices they will begin earning immediately, have no student debt and most importantly of all gain invaluable experience in their chosen industry by partnering with industry leaders. From an employers perspective the scheme will provided a recognised route into the industry that minimises the risk of a new hire both financially and in terms of culture fit as they will truly be starting from the ground up.
However, as always there is no easy answer; a quick search on various blogs shows that some young people still view apprentices warily. Specifically being seen as a “dogsbody” on lower wages as well as wondering how far they will progress past the end of the scheme. From an employers perspective apprenticeships require a large investment of manpower and resources (not to mention bureaucracy) with no guarantee that the trainee will complete the course.
In addition to recruiting more senior positions, Technical Network has a long history in recruiting entry level roles and helping business recognise and attract the next generation of engineering/testing professionals. Some have come from apprenticeships, some from academia and some from other industries proving there is no one correct answer.
As ever, we would welcome your thoughts on this challenging problem facing our industry.