British Gypsum, the Loughborough-based manufacturer of interior lining systems and supplier to many UK housebuilders, has welcomed news from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) that new higher-quality plasterer apprenticeships have been given final government sign-off.
The company is pledging £10,000 funding per student for the new three-year Plasterer Trailblazer Apprenticeships, which aim to drive up standards in the industry to try to meet the government’s target of three million new apprenticeships by 2020.
It’s a new scheme that the company’s Academy team has worked on directly with the FMB to help shape it so that there are two optional routes for final qualification – solid or fibrous plastering and appropriate end-point assessment for both routes. It is hoped that the standards the new apprenticeship offers will encourage students to consider a career in the construction industry.
Dave Hall, national technical academy manager at British Gypsum, says: “Until now, the NVQ Level 2, which is a two-year programme, was the most common route for apprentice plasterers. There was very low uptake for the three-year NVQ Level 3. With these new standards being introduced, all the formal routes of training for plasterer apprenticeships will now last three years. While this will bring its own adjustment challenges, we welcome the news. We are on hand to support the upskilling of lecturers delivering the apprenticeships and to provide supporting material and equipment to ensure further education colleges continue to deliver plastering apprenticeships.”
British Gypsum also runs the Thistle Partnership, its Academy team working with further education colleges across the UK to strengthen training courses, and will use it to support the delivery of the Plasterer Trailblazer Apprenticeships. CPD days to college tutors are part of that, to ensure that course delivery is closely aligned with industry requirements and the range of skills required to deliver the Trailblazer Apprenticeship, and that those teaching are kept up-to-date with industry trends.
The Academy, which has offices across England and Scotland, offers onsite demonstrations to students and course tutors, providing materials and equipment to demonstrate products and systems.