Research carried out by The British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) shows that many companies in the structural steelwork sector cannot gain access to apprenticeship training for core specialist roles, limiting the take-up of apprentices in small and medium sized companies.
In response, BCSA has launched a new apprenticeship training programme that allows companies in the structural steelwork supply chain, of all sizes and based in any location, to take on and train apprentices.
The CRAFT apprenticeships are based on the traditional methods of learning through workplace coaching and mentoring. The training has been developed by breaking down each role into separate elements, creating individual modules for each course. During and after completion of the modules, the apprentice is expected to gain further experience and workplace training.
Lantra Awards Corporate Provider
BCSA has achieved Lantra Corporate Training Provider Status for its CRAFT apprenticeships, meaning that CRAFT apprenticeships are delivered under the umbrella of the awarding body.
The CRAFT Process
Detailed written modules have been developed that describe and give pictorial evidence of the equipment used, or tools required, and how they are safely used. The apprentice commences each module by reading the appropriate materials, and referring back to them where necessary. Health & Safety is always the first module.
Workplace coaches are identified by the employer. They should be experienced tradespeople demonstrating good working practices to carry out the role. They will ensure the apprentice understands the tasks in each module, supervising the apprentice as they undertake these activities.
The employer also identifies a validator who has the role of coordinating the apprentice’s placement with different coaches for the training modules. The validators are accepted by Lantra based on their experience, knowledge and qualifications.
The validator assesses the knowledge and competence of the apprentice on completion of each module, including reviewing the evidence of their training, which is done against a standard assessment plan.
BCSA Craft Summary
|Craft||Modules||Duration||Experienced Worker Assessment|
|Welder Fabricator||12||Two years||Available|
|Metal Decking Installer||8||18 months||Available|
|Structural Steel Detailer||10||Two years||N/A|
|Surface Treatment||7||18 months||N/A|
Since the launch of CRAFT, 63 apprentices have been registered by BCSA member companies. Of these, 32 have completed and are employed in a permanent capacity with the company they trained with. Some companies have chosen to use CRAFT as supplementary training for apprentices that are enrolled in local colleges, and for upskilling existing employees.
Find Out More
Peter Walker, BCSA Director of Health, Safety & Training