BEST creates new generation of professional apprenticeships

BEST, apprenticeships
Pictured left to right outside the IET in Savoy Place, London after signing the agreement: Pearl Mensah, membership manager at CIBSE, Blane Judd, CEO at CIPHE, Dr Mark Brenner, CEO of BEST and Michelle Richmond, director of membership and professional development at the IET

BEST, Building Engineering Services Training has launched a new development route with professional recognition for Apprentices. CIBSE, CIPHE and IET* are working with BEST to enable NVQ Level 3 apprentices to receive professional accreditation as Eng Tech after completing qualifying criteria laid down by the Engineering Council.

Apprentices will then be able to continue their professional development to become masters of their trade and finally receive a degree or masters qualification.

Mark Brenner, chief executive of BEST, says, ‘For too long, apprentices have been treated as second-class citizens when it comes to levels of attainment and institute recognition. We now have a clear training and development path that enables an apprentice to specialise as a master craftsman, train for a foundation degree, go into higher education, become a senior manager and even achieve chartered-engineer status. This whole initiative is about preparing for the future and ensuring the growing professionalism of our industry.’

To support the launch of the professional apprenticeship programme, BEST will organise and pay for the first year’s membership of the appropriate professional institution for all NVQ Level 3 apprentices starting in 2010/11.

Laurence Aston, CIBSE’s education, training and membership chairman and a director with Buro Happold in London, said, ‘In these times of uncertainty in our industry, it’s a fantastic effort by BEST and its partners to generate so many opportunities for the development of craft apprentices to achieve professional membership of CIBSE and Engineering Council registration. CIBSE is delighted to be a part of this programme and will be very active in its implementation.’

* Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering and the Institution of Engineering & Technology.

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