Following three years of intense work, NMDA is pleased to announce that our motorcycle trailblazer apprenticeship standard and ‘end-point assessment’ has finally been signed off as ready to go by the Government.

The need for a new employer-driven technician apprenticeship became apparent following the Government’s plans to increase the number of young people learning a skill or craft in all industries rather than either going to university or into a manual job without trained skills and, possibly, with limited prospects for the future.

To ensure this, the Government mandated that all businesses with a payroll over three million would pay a 0.5% Levy to cover the training of trailblazer apprenticeships. It also decreed that these apprenticeships had to be designed by employers and not colleges and providers. Thus, a group of dealer employers was formed as a Trailblazer Team for the development of the apprenticeship.

To be approved, the apprenticeship needed to go through three approval stages. These had to be approved by the ‘Institute for Apprenticeships’, a newly formed Government Department.

Stage 1: Show the need for an apprenticeship for a specific trade/discipline or industry.

Stage 2: Define the apprenticeship standards outlining the knowledge, skills and behaviour the apprentice will have to develop and acquire.

Stage 3: Write an end-point assessment (EPA) consisting of a final exam and skills testing system that would be carried out at the end of the apprenticeship for the candidate to gain the qualification.

The different processes have proved to be more challenging than expected and required significant efforts from all the employers involved. Positively, the apprenticeship standard and EPA have now been accepted and a funding band will be assigned shortly so that colleges and providers will be able to use the scheme to train young people to be fully skilled ‘Motorcycle Technicians’.

NMDA is proud to have achieved this milestone alongside its members which will play a crucial role in securing a stable workforce for our sector and offering exciting opportunities to the new generations.

The association’s thanks and gratitude go to all the motorcycle dealer employers and providers that worked on the project under the guidance of the Chair Philip Youles of Youles Motorcycles of Blackburn & Manchester as well as our Institute for Apprenticeships Relationship Manager Mark Aberdein.