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  Posted by: electime      12th March 2018

It’s full steam ahead for managers keen to attract talented trainee wholesalers to their teams as the employer-created Trade Supplier Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard (ST0334) cleared its final hurdle recently when the Institute for Apprenticeships confirmed the funding band which sets the cost of training and assessment on the Standard. Training providers are now gearing up to get ready to start training the new apprentices and the sector is likely to see its first recruits within the next few weeks.

The wholesaler employers who created Trade Supplier, the trailblazers, were led by the EDA and Chaired by Vicky Ordish, Learning and Development Business Partner with Rexel UK Ltd. Vicky Ordish explains why the Trade Supplier is so important for the sector “This one-year apprenticeship standard has been designed to train new recruits to become fully-rounded trade suppliers. It’s a comprehensive job-focussed rigorous programme of training entirely relevant to a wholesaler branch.

“Other apprenticeships focus either on the warehouse or the trade counter, but Trade Supplier includes training in both these areas as well as a strong focus on customer needs, giving new recruits a broader base of skills and knowledge from which to launch their careers.

“Trade Supplier also represents excellent value for money for wholesalers, with smaller businesses paying just 10% – that’s £400 – towards the cost of training and assessment. Businesses can also benefit from up to £1,000 in payments for taking on younger or disadvantaged apprentices.”

As well as offering a breadth and depth of training, Trade Supplier also puts apprentices through their paces at the end of the 12 months through a half-day, end-point assessment. This involves a knowledge test, real-life practical observation and a professional discussion. Apprentices have an opportunity to be awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Trade Supplier is one of over 500 apprenticeship standards either approved or in development that will be available to employers following the radical reforms to apprenticeships in recent years. Standards will eventually replace the current frameworks and, following recent funding changes, apprenticeships now cover degree and post-graduate-level opportunities.

It is estimated that demand for Trade Supplier training from electro-technical wholesalers will be in the region of 500 apprentices a year. Now that the apprenticeship standard is ready to go, the EDA will be working with its partner, EDA Apprenticeships Plus, to raise awareness of it among its members encouraging them to consider taking an apprentice into their business. The new Standard is just one of many that EDA members can choose from a wide-ranging menu of apprenticeships from level 2 upwards. EDA Apprenticeships Plus can carry out a training audit and advise on appropriate apprenticeship standards in each business or each individual branch. This can then be followed up with full recruitment and HR service.