Gov­ern­ments boost for clas­sic skills gap

New her­itage ap­pren­tices for clas­sic cars, as avi­a­tion and steam

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page - ❚ www.fb­

A gen­er­a­tion of restora­tion know-how will be saved by a new Govern­ment­backed ap­pren­tice­ship scheme.

The Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion and the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs (FB­HVC) have an­nounced a ground-break­ing Her­itage En­gi­neer­ing Ap­pren­tice­ship un­der new Gov­ern­ment guide­lines that came into force in April.

The big­gest change in FB­HVC ap­pren­tice­ships is that Gov­ern­ment fund­ing is no longer re­stricted to 16-18 year olds, and will be open to any­one of any age. This new scheme will also be for her­itage trans­porta­tion such as avi­a­tion and steam, and not just clas­sic cars. The FB­HVC reck­ons that 1000 new clas­sic ap­pren­tices are needed over the next five years to re­place re­tir­ing spe­cial­ists.

FB­HVC trade and skills direc­tor, Karl Carter, says: ‘In the ini­tial stages the em­pha­sis will be on fun­da­men­tal en­gi­neer­ing skills which will be ap­plied through­out the rest of the course. In the lat­ter stages stu­dents will be able to adopt a range of spe­cialisms.

‘For the first time, we have been able to broaden the course to em­brace other trans­porta­tion sec­tors such as steam and avi­a­tion and this will help to re­cruit suf­fi­cient stu­dents for each course to make them fi­nan­cially vi­able.’

FB­HVC Com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor Ge­off Lan­caster, adds: ‘Jaguar Land Rover is the lead em­ployer, which is great news. This isn’t an in­stant thing though – it’s more an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion for ap­pren­tices. It’s not just for 16-18 year olds, in fact, it now doesn’t mat­ter how old you are.

‘It will now have a plat­form to launch block re­lease cour­ses. It’s be­come ap­par­ent that peo­ple are not able to do day re­lease be­cause of ge­o­graph­i­cal cir­cum­stances. Block re­leases al­low peo­ple to com­plete in­ten­sive cour­ses, sev­eral times a year.

‘It also means that in­sti­tutes can teach block re­lease, which in turn should bring in greater num­bers of stu­dents from fur­ther afield.’

Sir Greg Knight MP, chair of the All­Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cle Group adds: ‘This will cre­ate skilled jobs for young peo­ple and shows that the Gov­ern­ment recog­nises the im­por­tance of the £5.5 bil­lion his­toric ve­hi­cle in­dus­try.’

Ap­pren­tices at Bices­ter Her­itage will now be able to stay on site and study in block ses­sions, for weeks at a time.

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