The BPIF has submitted an updated application to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to develop a Level 2 Print Apprenticeship Standard, which has been worked on for over 12 months.
The BPIF consortium has dealt with changing requirements as the process and structure of the standard have changed, ensuring that it now includes the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required of a candidate.
The federation said one of the challenges has been to present the application to ensure that others who do not know the print industry can understand the important differences between Level 2 and Level 3. Under the new regime it is not sufficient they are similar at different levels - there must be a complete distinction in the nature of the role. This has required the BPIF consortium to define duties for Level 2 that clearly distinguish it from Level 3 by producing a document that maps the differences for Level 2 to ensure absolute clarity in the standard.
The Level 2 print apprenticeship is for young people taking their first steps into the industry. For those who may have lacked confidence in an academic environment, it provides a stepping stone to achieving valuable skills, as well as core maths and English qualifications.
The BPIF said many employers agree that putting all young apprentices straight on to a Level 3 is simply too much for them. This is something we hope the IfATE strongly take into consideration when reviewing this application.
Ursula Daly, programme director, BPIF and main contact for the consortium proposal said: "We could not have done this without the input of our industry and we would like to thank everyone for responding to our many surveys as we have worked through this process. The information that you provided us with was key to our ability to build a compelling application, and the strength of your support is what gave us the determination to continue."
The next steps will be that the application is reviewed by the engineering and manufacturing route panel within IfATE. The chair of the consortium, James Buffoni of The Ryedale Group, may be invited to attend this review. Pending the decision it will then pass to the funding panel, which will also review. This review process typically takes six weeks but given the current circumstances this timeline may be extended.