An introduction to trailblazers from the experts at OneFile

A recent survey of 1,000 full-time employees revealed 32% of 18 to 24 year olds are planning  the next step in their career – while a quarter of 25 to 34 year olds are also looking to progress.

The most popular reasons for changing jobs are better pay and benefits – closely followed by greater development opportunities. In order to retain and attract the best talent, employers need to offer a high level of internal career progression – and apprenticeships are a great way to do just that. You can train your team on the job, it’s already paid for, and with the introduction of the new trailblazer standards, employers can design their own qualification to suit the needs of their company.

Not clued up on Trailblazers?

OneFile is here to help. With over 10 years’ experience in the training and education sector – and armed with a team of experienced assessors and IVs – we’re the experts in our field. The apprenticeship market is changing rapidly,  so we thought we’d share our knowledge with you. We’ve selected some of most frequently asked questions for you to take a look at:

What is a trailblazer? 

A trailblazer is a group of employers who are developing apprenticeship standards specific to job roles in their sector. Whether there’s an existing framework or not, the standards they create will be completely new, and will gradually replace existing apprenticeships.

What’s special about the new apprenticeship standards? 

The new standards will aim to make the apprentice a master at their craft. The standards will be completely employer-led, short and easy to understand, ensuring apprentices learn the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to complete the job with complete confidence.

How are trailblazer groups formed?

A minimum of 10 employees can express their interest in developing a standard for a specific job role to the government’s Business Innovation and Skills department (BIS). Their application must then be approved to ensure the occupation is suitable for development, and that the employers are a fair representation of the sector.

How will trailblazers impact my business? 

It’s completely flexible – you can enrol your apprentice into an existing framework or opt for a new trailblazer. If you go for a trailblazer, the course works in the same way. Your learner will have to prove various competencies, record evidence of their skills in a digital eportfolio, complete tasks throughout the year and submit a final assessment.

Can I contribute to the apprenticeship standards? 

The standards are still in the development stages, so now’s the perfect time for you to get involved. The trailblazer groups are required to consult with the wider business community in their sector to ensure the standards are relevant for everyone – whatever the size of your company. So if you’re interested, take a look at which standards are still in the consultation phase. The government also holds an open survey for two weeks after each new trailblazer is proposed.

Trailblazers are taking training by storm, so it’s a great idea to get involved. Helping to develop the new standards will position your business at the forefront of skills development for your sector – and will ensure the relevant apprenticeship programmes are geared towards the needs of your business.

Want to know more?


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