CEDA is well on the way to developing a new apprenticeship standard for a catering equipment technician.
The distributor association recognised the need for the new apprenticeship several years ago when a survey carried out amongst its members in 2016 showed that over 75% were currently looking to recruit catering equipment service engineers either to replace retiring/leaving personnel or to cope with the increased demand.
Peter Kay, technical support advisor at CEDA explained: “30 years ago a catering equipment maintenance technician required very few skills or accreditations. A basic knowledge of gas, electricity and plumbing were adequate to cope with relatively simple technology.
“In this time, catering equipment has become more sophisticated and menu-specific and therefore requires more complex maintenance, meaning there is now a demand for more technicians with greater knowledge and skill sets than in the past.”
At the end of the summer a Trailblazer group of 11 CEDA members, with the help of an advisor from the Institute of Apprenticeships, submitted a draft proposal for a catering equipment technician. The initial proposal included details of the essential duties and tasks that need to be undertaken when servicing and maintaining catering equipment. The proposal was accepted in November and means the group can now develop the next steps of the apprenticeship scheme.
The second phase that needs to be designed as part of the standard comprises two parts:
- To agree the knowledge, skills and behaviours required in a catering equipment technician to fulfil the duties and tasks set out in the initial proposal.
- To develop an end point assessment that will determine whether the apprentice has gained the required knowledge, skills and behaviours and can competently carry out the necessary duties and tasks. The assessment can be practical or written but must be carried out by an independent, registered assessor or organisation.
The knowledge, skills and behaviours were agreed by the Trailblazer group, now consisting of 14 members and other interested parties, on 22 November.
A small sub-section of the group will meet on 17 December to determine the end point assessment plan, which will then be put to the rest of the group and submitted early in the New Year.
It is hoped the entire apprenticeship standard process will be accepted and finalised by May 2019. Whilst the apprenticeship will be open to all, the hope is that this timeframe will catch school and college leavers.