Supply chain apprenticeship standards not fully approved

NCFE has welcomed the government’s decision to approve one of the apprenticeship standards submitted by the Supply Chain Trailblazer group but it urges the adoption of the LGV and warehouse standard.

Prime Minister David Cameron recently confirmed radical plans to increase the number of quality trailblazer apprenticeships across the country – forming part of the government’s pledge to support 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. To drive up the quality of apprenticeships, 59 new standards developed by Trailblazer employer groups have been approved, which outline the skills apprentices in these roles are expected to have to meet the needs of employers.

One of the industry standards that has been granted approval is one of the three submitted to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) earlier this year by the Supply Chain Trailblazer group, the other two the Supply Chain Specialist Large Goods Vehicle Driver (LGV) Level 2 Trailblazer Apprenticeship and the Warehousing Operative have not been taken up.

David Grailey, Chief Executive of NCFE, said: “While it is great news that one of the standards has been approved, it’s disappointing that the LGV standard has not – LGV drivers are in high demand across the industry, and this would have been a significant step towards filling the many vacancies.

“We’ll continue to work with the Supply Chain Trailblazer group to shape the future of apprenticeships, ensuring programmes are tailored to industry needs and offer real opportunities to learners. In particular, we’ll be working to create standardisation and rigor in the assessment of Supply Chain Apprenticeships. This is something that is a cause for concern across the delivery of the Trailblazer apprenticeships, with varying degrees of quality in assessment, and it’s crucial that apprenticeships in this industry are of sufficient quality to provide both apprentices and employers with the skills they require.”

NCFE was selected as the awarding organisation to shape and support apprenticeship development for the Supply Chain Trailblazer group last year and, as the group’s chosen partner, the organisation has been using its experience and expertise to develop high quality standards for apprenticeships in the sector.

The next stage will involve the Supply Chain Trailblazer group – with the support of NCFE – working with training providers to develop assessment and delivery plans for the approved standard, and also preparing to re-submit the LGV and Warehousing standards.
Colin Snape, HR Manager at Nagel Langdons and former chair of the Supply Chain Trailblazer group, commented: “The industry has long been in need of a suitable apprenticeship that ensures young people joining us have a full understanding of the supply chain – in particular logistics and how it impacts on everything we do.”

Any employers or training providers interested in being involved in the next stages of developments are invited to contact the Supply Chain Trailblazer group via the enquiry form at

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