National Physical Laboratory

Government approves new apprenticeship standard to help boost UK productivity

The Department for Education (DfE) has approved a new higher level apprenticeship standard for Senior Metrology Technicians as part of the government's ambitions to increase the number of quality apprenticeships in England. This new Level 5 apprenticeship follows the Level 3 Metrology Technician apprenticeship, approved last autumn.

NPL apprentices

For the UK to compete internationally, businesses must continue to innovate and improve productivity and trade. Good measurement is at the heart of this endeavour and plays a vital role in responding to new challenges, supporting UK innovation, increasing quality and helping the drive to increase UK productivity.

Good measurement practices not only generate a return on training investment, but deliver real business benefits, such as improved quality control, accuracy, repeatability and increased productivity. Improving measurement skills across all sectors of the UK will help to accelerate new technology uptake and fully exploit the benefits of a high tech economy.

The apprenticeship standards were developed by the metrology trailblazer group, which includes over 30 employers and key stakeholders, and is led and chaired by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The trailblazer initiative will ensure that every metrology apprentice in England is enrolled onto an apprenticeship programme that has been designed and approved by employers.

The new standard sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by Senior Metrology Technicians working across a wide range of industries and will be available across England from 2017/8. The new Level 3 and 5 standards define and promote a progressive career pathway for industrial metrologists and enable them to move from entry level to more senior level roles. The standards also ensure that the training provision is relevant and beneficial to the future of the metrology industry, and will help to develop a pipeline of talent needed to fill measurement skills gaps across a range of sectors, developing the next generation of skilled measurement specialists.

Suzanne Loftus, Chair of the Metrology Trailblazer Group and Head of Training at NPL, said: "We have developed these programmes to embed measurement skills in UK companies. At NPL we understand the benefits of applying good measurement practices and, when used effectively, how they enable innovation and wealth creation. The new apprenticeship standards are the first nationally-recognised programmes for the metrology industry, and will deliver a new pipeline of sought-after talent to industry, contributing to the long term success of the metrology profession and the economy."

How to get involved

With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, there has never been a better time to explore how the new metrology apprenticeship standards can help to develop a competent metrology workforce, generating maximum impact and benefit for organisations and the metrology industry.

For more information on the new metrology apprenticeship standards, please contact: apprenticeships@npl.co.uk

Find out more about apprenticeships at NPL

Metrology trailblazer group organisations

Agusta Westland, BAESYSTEMS Submarines, British Measurement and Testing Association (BMTA), British Standards Institute (BSI), CoMech Metrology Ltd, Coventry University, Dupont Teijin Polyester Films UK Ltd, Gauge and Tool Makers Association (GTMA), Hexagon Metrology, Institute of Measurement and Control, Institute of Physics, Jaguar Land Rover, LGC Group, London Borough of Havering, Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Mitutoyo, The National Measurement & Regulation Office (NMRO), National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Physical Digital Limited, Reliance Precision Limited, Renishaw, Rhopoint Metrology Ltd, Rolls-Royce Plc, Science Council, SEMTA, SGS Emics, Taylor Hobson Ltd, TUV SUD (NEL), United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), United Kingdom Weighing Federation (UKWF), University College London, Waters Corporation

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Last Updated: 10 May 2017
Created: 10 May 2017

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