Press Release
8 May 2017

Green light for new Trailblazer Apprenticeships for resource and waste management

Tailored apprenticeships for resource and waste management are one step closer as an employer-led group set up to develop two new waste management and recycling Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards has been given the green light to proceed. The Expressions of Interest for the first two standards – for a Level 2 Resource Operative and a Level 4 Resource Technical Manager – have been approved and the full standard and assessment plan for each apprenticeship will now be developed. A Level 3 standard for Supervisors is also being considered for future submission.

The Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards differ from previous apprenticeships available in England in that they must be employer-led, are not structured around qualifications, require 20% off-the-job learning, and have an End Point Assessment. CIWM and WAMTAB are represented on the employer-led group for the waste and recycling sector, which is chaired by Veolia and for which Energy & Utility Skills, the expert voice on workforce issues in the sector, is providing secretariat support. There are also two other Trailblazer Apprenticeships being developed under separate initiatives for metals waste and street cleansing.

The new apprenticeships are funded through a levy paid by all large employers in the UK with a pay bill of over £3 million/year and, in England, these employers can then recoup their levy by enrolling staff onto apprenticeship programmes. Smaller companies are not required to pay the levy but those based in England can get 90% funded apprenticeships if they put in 10% of the costs.

Apprenticeships are a devolved policy area, and whilst all companies above the £3m payroll threshold will be required to pay the levy, the funding may not be used exclusively for apprenticeships in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, where the approach to apprenticeship design and delivery is different.

“This is a very positive development and we are delighted to be part of the group that is leading on this,” says CIWM chief executive Dr Colin Church. “Turning waste into a resource and adopting more circular economic practices is becoming a priority for business and this represents a welcome opportunity to try and ensure these important and fundamental ‘green’ skills are recognised and promoted.”

Chris James, CEO of WAMITAB, said: “This is one of the biggest changes in apprenticeship design, delivery and funding for over a decade, which should enable employers and learners to access a new style of learning that is directly relevant to the workplace. The government has been pushing for an employer-led approach for the past decade and it is important that professional bodies and awarding organisations pool their experience with employers and key stakeholders to produce a fit-for-purpose standard. The aim is for the new standards to be available for delivery from early 2018 and in the meantime the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) frameworks will continue to be available.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management) is the leading professional body for the waste management sector representing around 6,000 individuals in the UK and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non-profit making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues. More information can be found at
  2. WAMITAB is an awarding organisation and charity that develops qualifications and certificates for those working in: waste management and recycling, cleaning and street cleansing, facilities management and parking. WAMITAB works directly with industry leaders to shape and deliver employer-led qualifications that provide individuals with fit-for-purpose skills for the workplace. More information can be found at


  3. Energy & Utility Skills, the West Midlands-based expert voice on workforce issues in the sector across the UK, works with government, regulators and key audiences. It is the provider of choice for guidance, employer solutions, setting, registering and assessing competency standards and bespoke consultancy.  It helps employers attract new talent, develop their workforces and assure a high level of competence across their businesses. For more, visit 
  4. As a result of Government reforms, a new style of apprenticeships has been designed to meet the changing needs of employers, learners and providers.   The Trailblazer Apprenticeships in England will gradually replace the old SASE Frameworks, and will describe the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to undertake a specific occupation well, and to operate confidently within a sector. Further information, visit:

    England -

    Northern Ireland -
    Scotland -
    Wales -


  5. During the transition to Trailblazer Standards, the SASE Frameworks in England for the waste and recycling sector are still available. These include:

Level 2 Apprenticeship in Sustainable Resource Management

Level 3 Apprenticeship in Sustainable Resource Management

Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Sustainable Resource Operations and Management


Press contact:
Pat Jennings
Head of Policy & Communications
Tel: 01604 620426
Mob: 07912 228260