New apprenticeship is first tailored for builders merchants

A new apprenticeship has been launched for the builders merchants industry.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and the Electrical Distributors Association (EDA) have championed the apprenticeship, which is said to be the first designed by industry experts. It is set to become the sector’s primary Level 2 qualification.

The Trade Supplier Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard has been launched to more than 15 training providers who will deliver the programme throughout the UK.

From this month, the apprenticeship will be offered to builders merchants through BMF Apprenticeships Plus, the BMF’s apprenticeship training agency, will be eligible for funding under the new Levy system, subject to approval from the Skills Funding Agency and Ofqual.

The new standard will replace the Trade Business Service framework apprenticeship and will be more closely aligned with the merchant working environment.

Apprentices will be assessed on:

  • Dealing with customer sales at the trade counter and over the telephone;
  • Understanding incoming deliveries, stock control and despatch;
  • Processing customer orders and taking delivery of goods;
  • Technical knowledge of the products and services offered;
  • Using bespoke systems and equipment within their company;
  • Communication and building relationships both internally and with customers.

Richard Ellithorne, BMF membership services director, said: “Merchants and other trade suppliers play a vital role in ensuring an efficient flow of goods and services between manufacturers and their skilled trade customer base, but this is the first time that an apprenticeship has been designed to meet the industry’s specific needs. It is a huge step forward, and I would like to thank all those who gave their time and energy to ensure this new apprenticeship delivers the skills and knowledge needed by new recruits to our industry.”

John Henry, director of BMF Apprenticeships Plus, commented: “This employer-led qualification will give young people entering the industry an excellent grounding in merchanting and will raise the bar in terms of skills and knowledge at an early point in their careers. Having been in close communication with many businesses it is clear that the merchanting sector has been waiting for this new apprenticeship and I am confident of a significant take up by employers wishing to recruit and train new entrants and existing colleagues.”

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