Hosting a visit from Nick Boles, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, at its Tipton-based training school today, Doosan Babcock Director Martyn Fletcher said: “Initiatives such as the Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme and the levy on large employers provide vital support to industry in developing the skills necessary for the UK’s infrastructure growth. However, it is essential that the development of qualifications and apprenticeships is truly employer-led, with minimum Government involvement, to ensure that training remains relevant and geared to the needs of individual sectors. Funding of apprenticeships and training, however, does require dialogue with and direction from Government, to ensure skills investment aligns with broader policy expectations and sectors of strategic importance to the UK infrastructure and economy, such as healthcare, energy and manufacturing.”
According to Mr Fletcher, the Government needs to ensure that it works closely with employer training groups such as the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to channel funds to key growth areas where the development of skills is critical.
Mr Fletcher also highlighted the need to iron out potential inconsistencies between the English Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme and its Welsh and Scottish equivalents, in the interests of promoting recognition and portability of skills. In addition, he addressed the need to balance investment in apprenticeships with funding for upskilling and reskilling people from other sectors where apprenticeships may not be supported or appropriate.
“We are grateful to the Minister for taking time to visit our Tipton facility today and for the valuable opportunity to discuss these important issues. It is essential that industry and Government continue to work together productively to optimise skills funding and training development,” said Mr Fletcher.
Doosan Babcock plans to hire around 500 apprentices over the next five years, helping to create the high-skilled workforce needed to support the UK’s industrial future. In preparation for Britain’s nuclear revival, the company is putting focused investment in the development of skills to address the looming ‘skills gap’ facing the country
Doosan Babcock’s Tipton facility is home to the largest welding school of its kind in the UK.
Doosan Babcock – Apprenticeship facts
Doosan Babcock is currently training 180 apprentices
In the last five years, the company has trained circa 400 full time apprentices and over 1000 new workers for the sector
The advanced apprenticeship schemes run from 36 to 42 months
Over 80 per cent of the company’s apprentices undertake a placement in the nuclear sector and receive human performance training aligned to Nuclear Professionalism
Currently two of the three members of the WorldSkills UK welding team are Doosan Babcock apprentices
Doosan Apprentices regularly go on to win industry awards, including:
o Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE) Apprentice of the Year 2014 and 2015
o National Skills Academy Nuclear - Wales Apprentice of the Year 2015
o National Skills Academy Nuclear - Northeast of England Apprentice of the year 2015
o Skills Development Scotland Apprentice of the Year 2015
o ECITB Scottish Apprentice of the Year 2015