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New apprenticeship curriculum to help fill vital measurement skills gap

05 March 2018

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) curriculum to support the Metrology Technician Level 3 Standard is now available, enabling industry to secure world class measurement skills to unlock productivity and efficiency gains.

EEF, The Manufacturer’s Organisation, has become the first training provider to license and roll it out. 

As the first ever apprenticeship measurement standard to be approved by government, the Metrology Technician Level 3 Standard will help integrate world class measurement skills into UK industry. 

The UK economy, in particular, will benefit from improved quality and throughput of goods and utilities – £600 billion of which are sold in the UK each year based on measurement of their quantity and quality. 

The recently launched curriculum has been developed to bridge the skills gap for measurement expertise in the UK, and will help apprentices to gain a more in-depth understanding of measurement and its applications.

The full apprenticeship is equivalent to two A-level passes, allowing for an accessible, non-traditional route into measurement that is benchmarked to industry standards. 

This fast track option will boost the appeal of a measurement career for apprentices, and will help to increase the rate of graduates/apprentices into full time measurement employment. This, in turn, will drive greater productivity, efficiency and cost savings across UK industry. 

This is in high demand, with 75 percent of managers in industry stating, in an NPL survey, that they would use an apprenticeship in measurement to recruit, train and develop their employees.

Results from a recent report, led by NPL and Aerospace Technology Institute, also revealed that the benefits to the UK economy in Aerospace alone could be well over £2 billion a year, if measurement good practice is adopted. This includes shorter product development lead times, increased productivity and greater confidence and trust in the supply chain.

The NPL curriculum is also set to attract other training providers, who will be able to incorporate specific modules, which have been designed with the option to be selected separately for bespoke packages.

Phil Cooper, Head of Training at NPL, said: “The Metrology Technician apprenticeship is vital for UK industry and we’re extremely pleased EEF are the first training provider to begin licensing the curriculum. No doubt more providers will follow, helping to bring valuable measurement skills into the UK workforce in the near future. 

“Measurement underpins such a broad variety of sectors, including the aerospace, automotive and energy industries, so it is extremely important the UK takes hold of this opportunity to build a solid foundation of skills in this field. This will help to prove the worth of our products and services not only here but across the international market, and unlock potential in the UK economy.” 

Stephen Mitchell, Director of Apprentices & Technology Training at EEF, said: “EEF is already delivering world class Apprenticeship training and this exciting new Standard will extend our capability to support engineering and manufacturing businesses both locally and nationally. Apprenticeships provide an excellent route to develop skills to meet industry needs of the future – The Metrology Level 3 Standard is an excellent example of those skill needs being identified and met. 

“This new standard is a further stepping stone in our ambition to become a national champion for Apprenticeships and we look forward to implementing and extending our Metrology delivery capability with the support of NPL.” 

The standard was developed by the Metrology Trailblazer Group, which is formed of over 25 UK companies to ensure the needs of UK businesses are met through this qualification. As a main provider of the standard, NPL currently employs and trains five measurement apprentices.

Further information on the Metrology Technician Standard Level 3 is available here.


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