New Merchant Apprenticeship Launching early 2018
Trade Supplier Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and the Electrical Distributors Association (EDA) have jointly championed the development of a brand new, industry specific Trade Supplier Apprentice Standard. It is the first Apprenticeship to be designed for our industry, by experts in our industry and is set to become the industry’s primary Level 2 qualification when it is launched to employers next year.
The Trade Supplier Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard has just been launched to more than fifteen training providers who will deliver the training programme across the UK. From January 2018, the new Standard will be offered to builders merchants through BMF Apprenticeships Plus. Once established, the BMF projects it will be taken up by 1000 new recruits a year.
“developed as part of the government’s Trailblazer initiative”
Trade Supplier Level 2 was developed as part of the government’s Trailblazer initiative. This encouraged groups of employers to work together to create robust apprenticeships for their own sector, to ensure that people have up-to-date workplace skills that are fully relevant to business and industry.
The apprenticeship is tailored specifically for new recruits to any B2B wholesaler or merchant business involved in selling goods and services between manufacturers and their skilled trade customers, including electro-technical, plumbing, timber, or general building supply sectors.
“first time an Apprenticeship has been designed to meet the industry’s specific needs”
Speaking at the launch, Richard Ellithorne, BMF said: “Merchants and other trade suppliers play a vital role in ensuring an efficient flow of goods and services between manufacturers and their skilled trade customer base. Yet this is the first time that an Apprenticeship has been designed to meet the industry’s specific needs. It is a huge step forward, and I would like to thank all those who gave their time and energy to ensure this new apprenticeship delivers the skills and knowledge needed by new recruits to our industry.”
The new Trade Supplier Apprenticeship Standard will replace the Trade Business Service framework apprenticeship, formerly used by merchants. The new Standard is far more closely aligned with the merchant working environment. Trade Supplier Apprentices will be trained and assessed on:
- dealing with customer sales at the trade counter and over the telephone,
- understanding incoming deliveries, stock control and despatch
- processing customer orders and taking delivery of goods
- technical knowledge of the products and services offered
- using bespoke systems and equipment within their company
- communication and building relationships both internally and with customers
Trade Supplier Apprentices may work on the trade counter, or they can specialise in other roles in the trade business environment including sales, purchasing account management, logistics and administration.
The new Apprenticeship received approval from the Skills Funding Agency and OFQUAL earlier this Autumn, and will be eligible for funding under the new Levy system.