October 15 2015.

Apprenticeships in England are being redeveloped with employers at the heart of the process. As of the academic year 2017/18 the current apprenticeship programmes will be phased out.

The new apprenticeships are known as Trailblazers and the standards that they are built around are being developed by working groups of employers in each vocation. These will replace the current recognised apprenticeship framework and as of yet, the motorcycle industry does not have one in development.

Recently a small group of dealers joined the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) and Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) in Coventry to lay-down the first steps to forming a steering group to develop a trailblazer motorcycle technician’s standard. They were joined by bike manufacturers’ HR representatives to give guidance, but it was stipulated that only motorcycle dealer/employers can be the signatures to a new trailblazer apprenticeship standard.

The key facts for dealer/employers who wish to be involved in the working group are;
• A working group of a minimum of 10 dealer/employers is required (companies that take on or plan to take on motorcycle technician apprentices in the future). This must be a representative sample of the industry; big, small, franchised and independents. More dealer/employees are required to join this group.
• The process of designing this new apprenticeship typically takes around 18-24 months and requires the dealer/employers to commit to the project by attending working group meetings and contributing to the development process on a regular basis. These meetings are likely to be every six weeks.

There are two main stages to the project;
• Development of the standard – This outlines all that will be achieved/what the apprentice will be competent in by the end of the apprenticeship. This will not only outline the vocational competencies, but include underpinning knowledge; English, Maths and additional skills required.
• Development of the assessment strategy – One of the key changes is that the new apprenticeship programme requires end point assessment/synoptic assessment. This allows the apprentices to demonstrate overall competency. Additional formative assessment methods are included to track progress.

No previous experience is required for development of standards/apprenticeship, etc, but a current and working knowledge of the industry and the job role of motorcycle technician is essential.

Motorcycle dealers wishing to be involved in the development of this new apprentice standard and prepared to give up little of their time to see this standard produced for the industry should contact Stephen Latham on 07515 975157 or email stephen.latham@rmif.co.uk to obtain details of the next meeting.