New qualification spearheaded by group including Costain, HS2 and Balfour Beatty

The country’s first safety, health and environment apprenticeship has been launched.

The new scheme has been developed to address the impact that changes in technology and innovation are having on business working practices and to offer an entry level apprenticeship to enable people to start their career in safety, health and environment (SHE) sector.

It will ensure there is a pipeline of trained staff to manage the associated risks of workplace changes ensuring that employees can continue to work in safe and secure conditions.

The creation of the new qualification was spearheaded by a working group comprising Costain, HS2, Thames Water, Sapa UK, Mitie, Morrison Utilities, Permission Homes, Sisk, Skanska, and Balfour Beatty.

 Their work was also supported by experts from the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and Unite the Union.

The first cohort of twenty apprentices have started their apprenticeships in a wide range of companies, including those in the working group.

A further 160 people are due to start their apprenticeships in the coming months.

The SHE apprenticeship is a level three qualification which is the equivalent of two A Levels and allows apprentices to learn while they earn as 20% of their time will be spent on additional off the job training.

The course will give trainees a general grounding in all aspects of SHE and the working group intends to explore developing industry specific SHE apprenticeship pathways in the future. This will ensure that trainees entering sectors, such as nuclear, develop the skills and understanding of SHE in these fields.