Building Engineering Services Training (BEST) has announced exciting new partnerships formed as part of their progressive and innovative expansion of services for the UK’s building engineering services sector.
BEST’s ambitious business plan has been developed following consultation with leading employers in the sector representing small traders through to major tier one contractors facing the same challenge of finding the new skills needed for the future.
In order to provide added flexibility to their core apprenticeship programmes BEST has formalised their established relationship with Apprenticeship Training Ltd (ATL), the largest independent private training provider for the building engineering service sector with full scale training centres in six regions across the UK.
BEST CEO, Dr Mark Brenner says: “The new alliance with ATL offers our employers and learners access to a wider range of training and technology delivered in state of the art training centres. ATL’s impressive track record on quality and service matches our own and their vision to create a national network of large centres providing quality, accessibility and value is welcomed for our sector.”
Within this alliance BEST apprenticeship programmes are supplemented with technical training from selected ATL centres and ATL programmes now have added work based learning and assessment capability from the BEST national assessment team.
A major new initiative has been created from this alliance to allow unemployed people the chance of a work readiness and introduction to working programme for the building engineering service sector as part a pre-apprenticeship scheme. Candidates undertake training over a 16 week period, complemented by work experience placements, during which they are provided with basic skills and health & safety training. Successful learners are invited to interviews at the end of the programme with employers that could lead to a full time role as an apprentice.
Andrea Sharp, the project manager at BEST, reports uptake and interest at the first two Featherstone and Worcester centres as very encouraging and exceeding initial expectation. “Employers and learners are responding positively to this ‘try before you buy’ approach for both parties and see it as providing a steady pipeline of informed and work ready apprentice applicants.”
The strategy employed by BEST in combating the effects of a deep recession is to bring together innovation, enterprise and partnerships to service very closely existing gaps or emerging needs for employers skills needs.
Another example of this is realised in the newly formed partnership with Asset Skills, the sector skills council for the Facilities Management sector. BEST has signed up to become part of the provider network for the Asset Skills UK Academy to deliver plumbing, mechanical and electrical accredited learning programmes building on their leading position as a provider of multi-skilled service and maintenance frameworks to a number of FM companies.
Linking into the Asset Skills UK Academy has already proved beneficial with referral to a leading supermarket and national retail chain for in store training.
Following the successful Asset Skills bid for government funding to support the introduction of higher level apprenticeships, BEST is working as part of their consortium to develop and implement higher level craft apprenticeships for the FM sector.