Major contractors launch first health and safety apprenticeship
Several major contractors including Costain, Balfour Beatty and Skanska have helped to launch England's first Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) apprenticeship.
The scheme has been developed to address the impact that changes in technology and innovation are having on business working practices.
Once qualified, the apprentices will be trained in managing the associated risks of workplace changes.
The creation of the new qualification was spearheaded by a working group comprising Costain and other UK businesses and other organisations including HS2, Thames Water, Sapa UK, Mitie, Morrison Utilities, Persimmon Homes, Sisk, Skanska, and Balfour Beatty.
Their work was also supported by experts from the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Unite and others.
The first twenty apprentices have started their apprenticeships in a wide range of companies, including those in the working group. A further 160 are due to commence their apprenticeships in the coming months; two of which will be working with Costain on its A-one+ Joint Venture in Kent starting in September.
The SHE apprenticeship is two-year course resulting in a level-three qualification which is the equivalent of two A Levels.
Ian Nixon, highway and nuclear sector SHE manager at Costain, who chaired the working group, said: “Technological innovation is transforming the workplace across every industry. Every business is placing a premium on those employees who have the expertise and abilities to assess the operational risks of these new technologies and implement steps to ensure that staff can manage them safely and securely. That is why, in partnership with colleagues from across many different sectors, we have developed England’s first SHE apprenticeship.