A new health and safety apprenticeship could be a real asset, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) claims.
The Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) apprenticeship is being developed as part of the UK Government’s ‘Trailblazer’ programme.
At a recent London Health and Safety Directors Forum, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) raised the issue of a health and safety apprenticeship and has since helped set up an employer’s working group on the topic.
Costain is leading the group, as it has in-house experience in providing health and safety development programmes for graduates and apprentices.
The group also includes representatives from Balfour Beatty, Skanska, Sisk, Persimmon Homes, Morrison Utilities, High Speed 2, Thames Water, Mitie and Sapa UK, with support from IOSH, CITB, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), the Engineering Construction Industry Association (ECIA) and Unite the Union.
Shelley Frost, Executive Director of Policy at IOSH, said: “By having an employer-led group, supported by IOSH, this apprenticeship will develop professionals with highly transferable skills which are a real asset to business, beyond simple technical skills.
“Although apprenticeships are a UK Government scheme, IOSH’s involvement in the development of the framework means that the skills and knowledge the apprenticeships gain will take them to anywhere in the world.”
High level of interest across sectors
Chair of the group, IOSH Chartered Member Ian Nixon, Costain’s Highways Sector SHE Manager, said: “The high level of interest from a wide range of industries regarding the new SHE Apprenticeship has been fantastic and shows there is a real need for this across the country.
“I have received numerous offers of support and contact from organisations wishing to join the employer working group. Whilst the employer group has its roots with CITB in the construction sector, the core SHE Apprenticeship will be suitable for any sector with pathways leading from the core elements to specialise in a particular sector, therefore we have been pleased to welcome members from a range of backgrounds.”
The group is also expanding its remit to cover the National Theatre, emergency services, nuclear clients and specialist assessment bodies.
Karl Simons, Thames Water’s Head of Health & Safety and Chairman of the London Health and Safety Directors Forum, said: “There was a groundswell of recognition that with the growth of our profession throughout the UK, we have an opportunity to support the world of work through the development and implementation of a formal health and safety apprenticeship programme.”
Date Published: April 21, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown