Consultation launched on HGV, and bus and coach, framework apprenticeships, which propose integration as the way forward01 February 2021

Picture: IMI

Proposed changes to heavy goods vehicle and bus and coach apprenticeships in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are now out for consultation. See links below to participate; the closing date is mid-February.

Among other changes, a group of industry experts organised by IMI is proposing combining the bus and coach and heavy goods vehicle national occupation standards (NOS) around a mechelec qualification. So says Lloyd Mason, former Arriva engineering development manager, who was invited to participate as a subject-matter expert by IMI, which won the bid to carry out the work.

This would do away with separate mechanical and electrical qualifications for bus and coach (the heavy vehicle NOS only offers the mechelec course). The popularity of separate mechanic and electrical apprenticeships have been waning in the last few years as employers choose the than the bus and coach mechelec qualification. This follows the general industry trend of increasing integration between electronic and mechanical systems in buses and coaches.

The groups also examined the bus and coach coachbuilder qualification, and found that it needs more content on welding and joining techniques such as found in the CV bodybuilding apprenticeship standard. It proposes borrowing units from that apprenticeship programme, which is not under review.

The group also proposed new training programmes for electric vehicles and advanced driver awareness systems, ADAS.

Industry experts led by IMI have been reviewing the content of the frameworks apprenticeships standards on behalf of Skills Development Scotland, which has also involved representatives from the other nations of the UK.

Except, that is, England, which diverged from some four years ago to create the so-called trailblazer standards. In fact, a review of bus and coach trailblazer apprenticeships began last year, but was interrupted by COVID-19, and to date has not been restarted.


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William Dalrymple

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