Chris Claydon, Chief Executive of JTL







In developing our new strategy, we have had to take account of the discrepancy between rising costs, increased complexity in apprenticeship delivery and funding levels, which have not increased to meet these changes. This imbalance is making it increasingly difficult for training providers to remain financially sustainable.

At JTL, we understand the pivotal role that well-prepared apprentices play in their respective trades, and we are dedicated to nurturing the next generation of skilled electrical and plumbing and heating apprentices. Therefore, we are enhancing our apprenticeship academic requirements to ensure that our apprentices can meet industry standards, and our qualifications are targeting aspirational individuals.

The new standard: GCSE Grade 4 or Functional Skills Level 2

Any learner commencing their apprenticeship for academic year 2024/25 (i.e., starting their practical period from 1st August 2024) will need to meet the new minimum academic requirement for JTL’s apprenticeships, which will be set at GCSE Grade 4 in mathematics and English, or an equivalent Level 2 for Functional Skills.

We are also currently looking into alternative ways for individuals to demonstrate the required academic criteria and we are aiming to share more information on this in the coming months.

This change is being put in place to ensure that apprentices enter their chosen trade with the ability to meet the requirements set out in the apprenticeship standard in a timely manner.

Benefitting both apprentices and employers alike

Raising the start standard not only benefits the apprentices themselves by ensuring they are better able to complete their qualification, but will also provide best-in-class delegates for employers to take on and join their organisation. By raising the academic requirements, we are supplying employers with apprentices who have the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles.

Preparing the next generation of tradespeople

Our strategic plan emphasises the importance of preparing the next generation of apprentices for success and ensuring they are well-equipped with future-proofed skills, including the likes of new emerging green technologies.

We anticipate that this shift in academic requirements will result in an overall increase in pass rates and more timely completions, creating a more robust and skilled workforce for the next generation of electrical and plumbing and heating tradespeople.

The implementation of these changes to the academic criteria for electrical and plumbing and heating apprentices highlights JTL’s commitment to shaping the future of the trade industries, through providing high-quality apprenticeships. By raising the bar, we are confident that JTL apprentices will exceed the evolving demands of the building services engineering sector.