Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Qualification body recognizes BAE Systems aircraft training
Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 40, Issue 3.
UK-trained aircraft technicians from the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) are the first to receive a bespoke award from the engineering-qualification awarding body, EAL.
The 22 trainee technicians pioneered a multi-skill training program, delivered at the BAE Systems Training Solutions Technical Academy, Warton, to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to work competently on advanced Tornado aircraft systems. All passed with flying colors and a second cohort is now in training.
Designed by BAE Systems in partnership with the RSAF, the 18-week program combines classroom-based theory with on-the-job training, using the academy’s own Tornado aircraft to develop technicians’ skills and knowledge. It aims to produce multi-skill aircraft-maintenance technicians, rather than the single-skill technicians traditionally employed by the RSAF.
Staff at the technical academy, which is approved to deliver a range of EAL’s national vocational qualifications, also worked with EAL to ensure that the course met the engineering awarding body’s accreditation standards for customer-specific certification (CSC) so that each successful trainee would receive a recognized certificate on completion.
The new CSC offering from EAL meets government-backed recommendations contained in Lord Leitch’s skill-review report. These call for improved access to recognized qualifications and for high-quality training provided by employers to be accredited. BAE Systems is among the first major engineering companies to take up this opportunity.
Ann Watson, EAL managing director, said: “We are delighted that BAE Systems sought recognition from EAL for such a prestigious training program. Our CSC scheme meets the needs of customers who do not require a full NVQ program yet want their trainees to receive credit for what they have achieved. CSCs are proving popular with training providers and employers as a way of externally validating their tailor-made training packages that meet our standards”.
The RSAF technicians began their training with English, mathematics and physics at the Technical Studies Institute, Dhahran, followed by six months of English training in the UK. They then undertook a generic one-year course at the UK’s Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering, RAF Cosford, where they learned the basic aircraft skills in their respective trades (airframe, propulsion, electrical, avionics).
EAL is part of the Semta group, the sector-skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies.