Unprecedented unity by the equestrian industry has led to the successful bid for a new equine groom apprenticeship from the government under their new Trailblazers scheme. The Member Bodies of the British Equestrian Federation, the British Horse Racing Authority, equestrian charities, The Household Cavalry and The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery as well as representatives from polo and hunting have aligned to become part of the steering group, facilitated by Trent Park Equestrian Centre, to set the standard of this new apprenticeship scheme.
As part of the third phase of the government’s apprenticeships initiative announced on 23 October 2014, more than 700 employers are involved and will design 76 new top quality apprenticeships in professions ranging from TV production to welding, including the occupation of equine groom. “This will give the many strands of the horse world the opportunity to work together in a universal way for the first time to create a rounded, educated, practical groom with all the skills for the future of the industry” explained Brian Hutton of Talland School of Equitation.
Across 37 trailblazing sectors, which make up Phase Three of the Trailblazers project, employers are designing new apprenticeships to best meet the skills and needs of their industries. The third phase will bring the total number of employers involved in designing such apprenticeships to more than 1,000. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Our reforms have empowered businesses small and large to design and deliver world-beating apprenticeships that offer a real route to a successful career.”
Through the radical apprenticeship reform The Department for Business Innovation and Skills aims to increase the quality of apprenticeships, put employers in the driving seat and to simplify the system. In doing so they expect that the successful apprentice will be regarded in the same esteem as a university graduate.
Launched in October 2013, the Trailblazers initiative aims to ensure that every apprentice in England is enrolled on a scheme that has been designed and approved by employers. The move is part of a government reform that will see compulsory changes to the way all apprenticeships are run from 2017. Sue Martin of Trent Park Equestrian Centre said: “The overall outcome of the reform is to ensure that every industry benefits from a well-trained workforce with transferable skills able to meet the needs of the future economy for years to come. We will produce a standard of apprenticeship for the equine industry that is world class and builds on existing strengths, with industry and the grooms benefiting from having specialised training in their chosen field.”
Skills Minister Nick Boles commented “I congratulate the equestrian Trailblazer team for the key role it is playing in developing new top quality apprenticeships. Through the Trailblazer initiative companies like Trent Park Equestrian Centre, in collaboration with their industry partners, will give people the skills they need to thrive and our businesses need to compete.”
To find out more about the Trailblazer scheme visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/future-of-apprenticeships-in-england-guidance-for-trailblazers
Image Credit: Will Baxter