Minister backs apprentices
Professional apprenticeships like those developed by HVCA subsidiary Building Engineering Services Training (BEST) have received the approval of skills minister John Hayes.
In a letter to BEST chief executive Dr Mark Brenner, Mr Hayes confirmed that the Government was committed to improving progression routes 'into and through apprenticeships'.
He added: 'We aim to ensure that there are clear qualification and career pathways from pre-apprenticeship and foundation level right through to higher-level skills and professional development ... and are working on ways to ensure that people can progress through an apprenticeship to higher-level professional skills and university.'
The BEST professional apprenticeships have been developed in partnership with CIBSE, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
They allow apprentices pursuing Level 3 National Vocational Qualifications to receive Eng Tech professional accreditation following achievement of qualifying criteria laid down by the Engineering Council - and to continue their professional development on to bachelor's and master's degree status.
Commenting on the BEST model, Mr Hayes added that 'apprentices should have something to aspire to and be awarded recognition for their work, just as graduates are'
8 November 2010