Lucite employees to pioneer National Trailblazer Apprenticeship


Three former servicemen sponsored throughout their training by Lucite International are some of the first in the country to “pass out” of the pioneering new employer-designed Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard.

Craig Buckle, James Curtis-Dawson and Derek Hornsey are the first in the UK to successfully complete the new Science Manufacturing Technician (SMT) Apprenticeship at Level 3.

The talented trio, who completed a year studying at TTE and a year training at Lucite’s Cassel site at Billingham have now been taken on by the acrylic manufacturer as full time Production Technicians.

Lucite was part of the original science-based employer group tasked with developing the SMT Apprenticeship content, standards and skills assessment as part of the Government’s Trailblazer programme, aimed at making all apprenticeships employer-led.

Craig said: “The new apprenticeship has really helped us to be ‘job ready’ for the roles we now have.  All our colleagues at Lucite helped us immensely and gave us great support throughout our training as we progressed towards attaining the apprenticeship.”

Jess Bell, Lucite Learning and Development Manager, who was instrumental along with other science-based employers in getting the new apprenticeship standards off the ground, said: “We were delighted to be part of the development of this Apprenticeship and it has proved hugely successful.  Our apprentices have set the bar very high and we look forward to our next apprentices completing the final part of their Apprenticeship by next summer.”

Christine Sakhardande, Head of the Science Industry Assessment Service (SIAS), the specialist body responsible for the end-point assessment of the new style apprenticeships, said: “The new Trailblazer Standards are now setting out the exact skills, attributes and knowledge that employers need, as well as  demonstrating full competency in an occupation ensuring the apprentice is “job-ready”.

“This is a real achievement for Craig, James and Derek and I’d like to congratulate them on successful completion of their Science Manufacturing Technician apprenticeship.”

“The SIAS award presented following successful assessment is recognised by employers as demonstrating individuals have met the demanding industry Apprenticeship standard. Lucite should also be congratulated on its pioneering approach to training.”

Steve Grant, Managing Director of TTE, said: “TTE has a long relationship with Lucite International and we are proud to have worked with the company on this ground-breaking programme.  Trailblazer apprenticeships demonstrate how vocational learning is evolving to meet the requirements of specialist industries and Lucite has shown how engagement by employers from concept to delivery of training programmes can reap benefits for the business and its sector.

“Craig, James and Derek are highly-motivated individuals who were exemplary trainees throughout their apprenticeships.  They will be a real asset to Lucite and we wish them well in their careers.”

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