|Former apprentice Locksmith Harry McGinley,|
aged 19 who works for MLA-approved company
Newark & Sherwood Locksmiths Limited.
AN apprenticeship scheme to encourage more young people to go into locksmithing and safeguard the industry’s future has received a major boost, thanks to funding from the world’s biggest supplier of locks and security solutions.
ASSA ABLOY has joined forces with the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) and Skills for Security – the skills body for the security industry - to support an apprenticeship scheme, with the aim of securing the future of the industry and ensuring locksmithing is seen as a potential career.
Building on the significant funding already provided by the MLA to generate the apprenticeship framework, this funding from the global leader in door opening solutions will be used to sponsor the qualifications and work of Skills for Security assessors, who will monitor the technical progress of apprentices.
The funding will be used to train new assessors to meet the increasing demands for the qualification and to support the cost of delivering assessments.
The locksmith apprenticeship was set up in January 2014 with a view to generating the first nationally recognised qualification for the locksmith sector, as well as securing its future by encouraging more young people to consider locksmithing as a profession.
This will be an open apprenticeship, meaning that the new locksmiths undertaking the apprenticeship, which lasts a minimum of 12 months, can be working for any locksmith employer, whether they are members of the MLA or use ASSA ABLOY products or not. It’s a scheme generated by the industry, for the industry as a whole.
Dr Steffan George, development director of the MLA, the UK’s leading trade association for the profession, said:
“We felt there was a need to have a formal apprenticeship scheme, where Government funding can be used to give quality training to people joining the industry.
“The industry is not regulated so anyone can trade as a locksmith regardless of competence, motives or background, and we want to try to combat the “get-rich-quick” type of marketing used by some locksmith training providers, while also trying to make locksmithing a ‘proper job’.
“The apprenticeship scheme should protect the future of the industry and encourage people to see it as a legitimate, long-term profession. It will raise levels and standards within the industry, which will, in turn, help the general public.”
Derek Jones, national employer engagement manager from Skills For Security, said:
“We see partnership between Skills for Security, The MLA and ASSA ABLOY as the best way to deliver the Locksmith Apprenticeship scheme.
“The skill and knowledge in the MLA, along with their training facility, is the best in the UK and we have been delighted to work alongside them to develop this qualification.
“By working together we can encourage more locksmith apprenticeships. It is a trade that requires young people to engage in and develop the skills to keep it established and progress with the times.”
Paul Browne, business development director from ASSA ABLOY UK, said:
“We are pleased to be working in conjunction with the MLA to support and sponsor its apprenticeship scheme. Professionalism of the locksmith industry, as well as development of skills among the next generation of locksmiths is crucial to both its survival and future growth.
“The apprenticeship scheme is not only designed to address any skills gaps within the industry and encourage the next generation of locksmiths to explore opportunities within the sector, but also to reflect the status and professionalism of locksmithing as a career.”
For further information on the MLA please visit www.locksmiths.co.uk or on ASSA ABLOY visit www.assaabloy.co.uk
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