Attracting talented newcomers keen to launch careers in wholesale and merchant businesses was at the heart of a recent event to announce a brand new apprenticeship standard for the sector – Trade Supplier Level 2. Hosted jointly by the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) and the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), over 50 guests from employers and training providers were joined by representatives from Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation), the Institute for Apprenticeships and the government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency.
This launch marks the culmination of two and a half years’ work by a group of employers, large and small, working together as ‘trailblazers’, initially led by EDA and its members, who were joined later by the BMF and some of their leading members. The apprenticeship is tailored specifically for new recruits to any B2B wholesaler or merchant business involved in selling goods and services between manufacturers and their skilled trade customers, including electro-technical, plumbing, timber, or general building supply sectors.
Chair of the trailblazer group, Vicky Ordish, learning and development business partner with Rexel UK Ltd said, “It’s fantastic news to receive official approval for the Standard, and to have the Standard and Assessment Plan published. It is testament to the hard work and commitment of our trailblazers.
“We’ve ensured that this one-year apprenticeship is a rigorous programme of training in all aspects of a typical wholesale branch. The end-point assessment includes online tests, real-life practical observations and a professional discussion, with candidates achieving a pass, merit or distinction. This is all designed to provide apprentices with the essential skills and knowledge from which to progress their careers.”
Margaret Fitzsimons, EDA director, added “Created by wholesalers for wholesalers, this new entry-level apprenticeship reflects the substantial commitment and knowledge sharing from across the building, timber and joinery, kitchen installation and electro-technical sectors. It has been a pleasure to work with similar trade associations and their members to pool our significant wholesaling experience.”