February 2016 work-based learning and colleges update: Engineering sector | Pearson qualifications

February 2016 work-based learning and colleges update: Engineering sector

15 February 2016

This month's Engineering sector update includes details on some future changes to our qualifications, an update on Trailblazers, and information about our free Engineering Sector Forum webinar.

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Changes to qualifications

At present, Pearson Engineering, Manufacturing and Automotive QCF qualifications have a review date of 31 December 2017. We are reviewing what needs to be amended to fall into line with Ofqual requirements to amend QCF qualifications by this date. Some qualifications (i.e. NVQs) may be withdrawn where there is a new replacement that is being used in Trailblazers, and SEMTA is currently reviewing which NVQs will need to be reviewed and amended. We will keep you informed as information becomes available.

We are launching a new suite of qualifications (both knowledge/skills and competence) at Level 3 in September that have been developed for use in Apprenticeship Trailblazer qualifications, but will also be available as a standalone option for full/part time learners who wish to enter the engineering sector.

We also have the new BTEC Nationals 2016 that are available for full and part time learners but will not be eligible for use in Apprenticeships. Where funding is available we will be seeking support to offer these as SFA funded. If you are able to assist with providing letters of support from employers, please contact us.

Our new Level 2 qualifications (knowledge and competence) in Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing Engineering are already available for full/part time learners and are funded for those aged 16-18.

Apprenticeships still remain the government’s key priority, and current SASE frameworks are being reviewed to identify level of need, and the withdrawal process of unused or little used frameworks will take place from April 2016. The plan is to have all SASE frameworks switched off by the end of this government (i.e. 2020). The plan to switch off as many frameworks by July 2017 as possible still stands. Where there are trailblazer standards that are a direct replacement and that are ready for delivery, these will probably be switched off by that point.

Trailblazer update

The current standards are now ready for delivery, or will be by the end of March:

Aerospace and Aviation

  • Aerospace Manufacturing Fitter (Level 3)
  • Aerospace Manufacturing Electrical/Mechanical and Systems Fitter (Level 3)
  • Aerospace Engineer (Level 6)
  • Aerospace Software Development Engineer (Level 6)
  • Aviation Maintenance Mechanic (Military) (Level 2)
  • Survival Equipment Fitter (Level 3)
  • Aircraft Maintenance Fitter/Technician (Fixed and Rotary Wing ) (Level 3)
  • Airworthiness Planning, Quality and Safety Technician (Level 3)
  • Aircraft Certifying Engineer (Level 6)
  • Systems Engineering (Level 7)


  • Product Design and Development Technician (Level 3)
  • Product Design and Development Engineer (Level 6)
  • Electrical/Electronic Technical Support Engineer (Level 6)
  • Control/Technical Support Engineer (Level 6)
  • Manufacturing Engineer (Level 6)

Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Non sector Specific)

  • Mechatronics Maintenance Technician (Level 3)
  • Toolmaker/Tool and Die Maintenance Technician (Level 3)
  • Machinist (Level 3)

Rail Engineering

  • Rail Engineering Operative (Level 2)
  • Rail Engineering Technician (Level 3)
  • Rail Engineering Advanced Technician (Level 4)

Maritime/Marine Defence

  • Maritime Mechanical Fitter (Level 3)
  • Military (Royal Navy) Electrical Mechanical Mechanic (Level 2)
  • Maritime Pipeworker (Level 3)
  • Maritime Fabricator (Level 3)
  • Maritime Electrical Fitter (Level 3)

Currently in development or will have expressions of interest submitted during February/March 16

  • Advanced Manufacturing Engineer (Level 6)
  • Advanced Manufacturing Technician (Level 4)
  • Craft Technician (Level 3) – will probably be a more generic standard to cover a range of roles
  • Technical Support Technician (Level 3)

Available from Pearson to deliver the foundation phase of the trailblazers highlighted in bold above

The Level 3 qualifications will be available for September. For copies of the specifications please contact your account manager.

  • 601/7389/0 Pearson BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Foundation Competence)
  • 601/7165/0 Pearson BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Aerospace and Aviation Engineering (Foundation Competence)
  • 601/7390/7 Pearson BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Aerospace and Aviation Engineering (Foundation Knowledge)

The Trailblazers listed above in Engineering are currently following a similar format of having both knowledge and competence qualifications with a foundation phase of Level 2 qualifications that are delivered wholly off the job and in a sheltered learning environment. Level 2 competence qualifications (based on current PEO) are relevant at all levels including L6. Not all Engineering occupations are following this format. Welding are looking to have a period of training (potentially linked to qualifications but not mandatory) which is assessed at the end by a practical assessment and a written assessment which is mapped to the required industry standards.

Trailblazer employer and provider briefings

The Engineering Trailblazer employer groups are hosting 3 employer and provider workshops (1/2 day each) on the following days/locations. A full agenda and booking details to follow by mid-February.

Date Location
17 March 2016 Toyota Manufacturing UK – Burnaston, Derby
5 April 2016 BAE Systems, Humberside Airport, Hull
20 April 2016 Rolls Royce, Bristol (TBC)

The morning session is aimed at employers and the afternoon sessions are for providers interested in delivering or finding out more about Engineering trailblazer apprenticeships. These events will cover Automotive, Aerospace, and Aviation, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering and High Value Manufacturing standards. Booking will be via NFEC. 

Find out more on the NFEC website

Engineering and manufacturing sector forum webinar

We have scheduled a webinar for 16 March 2016:

  • the morning sessinon runs from 10 to 11.30 a.m.
  • the afternoon session will run from 3 to 4.30 p.m.

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