The Welding Institute is pleased to introduce the launch and development of the Welding Apprentice Group Training Association (WAGTA)
The last 20 years has seen apprenticeships within the United Kingdom decrease to almost zero. As the UK and the rest of the world prepare for large energy and infrastructure projects, developing the necessary skilled staff base will be key to ensure the long term success and stability of such ventures.
It is hoped that the WAGTA will bring together employers, training providers, sector skills councils, awarding bodies and union representatives in the creation of a world-class welding apprenticeship scheme. This scheme will aim to develop a home-grown welding workforce who will be able to progress through recognised pathways to more senior roles in the industry, paving the way for a successful industrial and manufacturing future. By primarily working with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the WAGTA will facilitate and feed the upskilling necessary in larger enterprises and larger schemes of engineering work, reducing the reliance on a migrant staff base.
The Welding Institute will provide the oversight, foundation and necessary support to WAGTA. As the recognised global leader within the industry, The Welding Institute offers a strong basis from which to develop WAGTA and engage with any SMEs interested in joining the Group Training Association through its:
- extensive network of relationships with international companies,
- expert research and knowledge of the latest welding, joining and allied technologies,
- design of the National Welder Training Standard (NWTS) which will form the basis of the proposed Advanced Apprenticeship schemes
- provision and delivery of high quality welding qualifications and courses within its training school and Certification Scheme for Personnel (CSWIP).
Recognising the significant decline in apprenticeships and hooking onto the emphasis and importance that is being placed upon apprenticeship schemes by government departments, it is the long term intention of the WAGTA to look at providing a solution to the UK’s welding skills shortage and a national model for developing welding skills. The project, however, will be initially piloted through the Eastern Counties with the hope of engaging with and gaining buy-in from approximately 40 SMEs across the region in its first year of operation, with a minimum of 45 apprentices.
The Welding Apprentice Training Group Association’s role will be to bring together companies and colleges in the Eastern Counties with a shared vision for improving the quality of and increasing access to welding apprenticeship provision. WAGTA is not only focused on increasing apprentice numbers and intake but, with its SME members, will aim to develop highly competent welding technicians who can enjoy rewarding careers and contribute to the success of engineering in the East and the rest of England.
For further information about the WAGTA or to express an interest in supporting the project please contact us.