Trailblazer Groups and Apprenticeship Standards

What is a Trailblazer?

A Trailblazer is a group of employers developing apprenticeships standards specific to job roles in their sector. These standards will be completely new, for job roles which have never had an apprenticeship programme, or will replace existing programmes for other job roles.

What is unique about the new apprenticeships standards?

The new apprentice standards have been brought into place to ensure that they are completely employer led, being designed by Trailblazer groups to meet not only the needs of the employer, but also the needs of the sector and the wider economy.

The key measures aim to:

Increase the quality of apprenticeships. 

Put employers in the driving seat.

Simplify the system. 

Give employers purchasing power. 

The new standards have been tailored to focus on how an apprentice should demonstrate mastery of an occupation and meet professional registration requisites in sectors where such certification exists – in the case of accountancy, engineering and science for example.

Overall, the approved standard will serve as a written document that outlines the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of the apprentice in order to do their chosen job once the apprenticeship has been completed.

How are Trailblazer groups formed?

In order for a trailblazer group to be formed, a minimum of ten employers – regardless of size - need to express an interest to develop a standard for a specific job role to the government's Business Innovation and Skills Department.

For the application to be successful it must meet all the criteria outlined in the Future of Apprenticeships in England – Guidance for Trailblazers, thus ensuring that the occupation is suitable for the development of the apprenticeship standard and the group of employers are representative of the relevant sector(s).

What do all standards have in common?

To ensure every standard is of high quality there are seven criteria that all apprenticeship standards must meet which are:

  • Be short and concise
  • Set out the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed in an occupation, so that, on completion, the apprentice is able to competently carry out the role in any size of employer across any relevant sectors
  • Have the support of employers including smaller businesses
  • Be sufficiently stretching so that it will require at least a year of training (before the end point assessment) with off the job training accounting for at least 20% of the apprenticeship
  • Align to professional registration where it exists
  • Contain minimum English and maths requirements and any digital skills required
  • Only include mandatory qualifications under certain circumstances.

How can Petroc provide support in this process?

Petroc are dedicated to supporting employer development groups in the following areas:

  • Transition of existing Apprenticeships to meet the new Apprenticeship Standards criteria
  • Development of new Apprenticeships (no current provision)

By invitation, Petroc can support employers through the development process. For further information on developing Apprenticeship Standards and how Petroc can support this process please contact us by either emailing apprenticeships@petroc.ac.uk or by calling us on 01271 852419.