New Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard for the trade supply sector

March 15, 2017

As part of the government’s Trailblazer apprenticeship initiative, the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) has championed the development of a new Level 2 Trade Supplier Apprenticeship Standard, developed by a host of industry experts from employers in electrical and related trade supply chains.


Due for launch in late 2017, the apprenticeship has already secured 2 crucial rubber stamps from the Department for Education, with a third due in April 2017. 

The Standard, which will eventually succeed the Level 2 Trade Business Services Apprenticeship Framework, was approved by the Department for Education in August 2016. It covers a comprehensive range of knowledge, skills and behaviours required by a Trade Supplier to be successful in their role and to add value to their business; including sales, customer service, warehousing, legislation and specialist product knowledge. 

The initial Trade Supplier Trailblazer Group, which included 8 EDA member organisations from the electrical wholesale industry supported by the EDA and EDA Apprenticeships Plus, began scoping the new Standard in April 2015. 

Trade supply environment

The group has grown to 12 employers, from sectors including electrical wholesale, builders’ merchants and kitchens and joinery, who have met regularly at the EDA’s head office in London to develop a Standard that they are confident will meet the needs of employers and apprentices across all areas of trade supply.

Setting the bar high

Crawford Flint, Head of Learning & Development, Rexel UK, said, “This is the first apprenticeship actively shaped by and for the electrical trade and related supply chain and its launch is eagerly awaited by employers. The bar has been set high for this new apprenticeship standard: these apprentices will be the workforce for our future, an exceptional pool of talent with the potential to add value and go far within our business.”

Industry newcomers

Margaret Fitzsimons, EDA Director, Electrical Distributors’ Association, added, “The commitment of the employers to the Trailblazer Group, recently led by Keith Marshall OBE through the end-point assessment phase of the process, has been outstanding. They have volunteered many hours of their time to ensure the new apprenticeship rigorously delivers the skills and knowledge needed by newcomers to the trade environment.”  

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