Apprenticeship Levy and Trailblazer Apprenticeship for Process Control Engineers – get involved

15 June 2016

EEMUA has been a partner in the Partnership for Automation and Control Training (PACT) for many years. This group of users and manufacturers is acting as the nucleus for developing proposals for UK apprenticeship schemes, in line with changes to the system being implemented on 1 April 2017. From this date a levy of 0.5% on UK gross payroll above £3M will come into force, with this money being set against spending on approved apprenticeships. Current UK “Framework” apprenticeships will be phased out in favour of “Trailblazer” schemes, although this nomenclature is expected to change.

Despite the short timescale, there are still uncertainties in terms of implementation. For example, although the levy is on UK payroll, the apprenticeship schemes are devolved to the regions, and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet established a mechanism. Schemes need to be developed by groups of at least 12 companies, at least one of which must be a Small or Medium Enterprise (SME) by UK government definition.

EEMUA’s Chief Executive Stefan Kukula attended the meeting on 14 June 2016 discussing the development of proposals for schemes covering different levels of apprenticeships in Process Control and Automation Engineering. In order to be adopted, these must show direct company involvement, and trade body participation is not taken as satisfying this requirement. EEMUA is encouraging its members in the UK, wishing to ensure that apprenticeships in this area reflect their need, to get involved, as timescales are very short.