Pest control apprentice programme moves forward

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Plans to launch a nationwide apprenticeship scheme for pest technicians have taken a major step forward with the publication of a new standard for pest control apprenticeships.
A working party facilitated by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) and led by employers from across the industry has developed the standard as part of the government’s Trailblazers programme. You can download a copy of the standard from the publications section of the Government’s website

Martin Rose-King, chairman of the Apprenticeship Employers Development (AED) group, is confident it will have significant benefits for the sector as a whole.

He said: “As an industry, it is imperative that we encourage more people to consider pest control as a career choice and that we are able to provide a pathway that ensures the highest quality standards are achieved and maintained.

“The AED Trailblazer group represents pest control employers of all different sizes and organisations who operate within the industry and is keen to ensure a future qualified, competent and sustainable workforce.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks for all the support we have received in reaching this milestone.”

BPCA’s Training Development Manager, Karen Dawes explained that the standard only forms the basis of the requirements.

Martin Rose-KingMartin Rose-King chairs the AED group

She said: “The next step is the ‘end point assessment plan’ which details what will be measured and how it will be measured in order to attain the standard required.”

This is why if you visit the Government website to download the standard it clearly states that ‘this standard is not ready for use’.

Included within that end point assessment plan is an ‘occupational brief’ which the AED Trailblazer group has been working on. The first draft is currently out for consultation with AED group members. It will then be put out to a wider group for further refinement.

Martin Rose King continues: “As we move forward in developing further documentation to support this innovative apprenticeship standard, we’ll be asking the wider industry for their feedback and consensus to ensure that the final programme is robust and fit for purpose.”

Karen DawesBPCA’s Karen Dawes

The group first got together at the start of last year to develop the standard for Trailblazers – an initiative which hands the responsibility of what’s taught to aspiring professionals to the industry itself.

Martin, who also runs Bounty Pest Control, added: “A key feature of the Trailblazers system is that the standards and assessments for apprenticeships are now designed by employers working together.

“It’s designed to lead to a scheme that’s of higher quality and more relevant to a particular industry and that can only be good news for our sector.”

Apprenticeships will provide an alternative entry route into the industry for ‘new’ technicians, regardless of age, background or qualifications. Each apprentice will be allocated a funding cap with a programme of learning based around on-the-job and classroom-style training.

It is expected to take 12-18 months to complete and competence will be demonstrated by passing the final assessment.

“Our hope is that pest control apprenticeships will be based on the real standards to which all pest professionals should be held accountable. Through rigorous demonstrations of competence and understanding, new pest controllers will join the industry already having a deep-rooted understanding of professional best practice,” concluded Martin.

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