CPA banner Email CPA

Members Log In

Forgotten password?

What is a Trailblazer

< Back to


Trailblazer Apprenticeships



The trailblazer apprenticeship programme was launched in England in 2013 following the Richards Review of Apprenticeships which concluded that there was a need to redefine what an apprenticeship was, and that the original traditional values of an apprenticeship needed to be reinstated.


The report made a number of recommendations and taken on board by the Government for the trailblazer programme and set out in their English Apprenticeships 2020 vision document.  A set of principles were established that would puts the employers in the driving seat, increase the quality and consistency of apprenticeships, simplify the system to aid understanding, and give employers purchasing power and choice in the delivery of an apprenticeship


There are now a large number of occupations either available for delivery or under developmen with the Government aiming for 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020. Those approved or in development can be viewed on the Institute for Apprenticeship's website at: 


The existing apprenticeship framework within England is meant to be phased out by 2020 and replaced by these new standards-led apprenticeships. There are no changes planned for apprenticeships administered through Scotland and Wales and continue to be offered through the existing framework programme.


Trailblazer Development


Employers can form a consortium and become a trailblazer development group to set a standard for an occupation though an expression of interest (EOI) providing no other standard exists, or overlaps other standards. The group should consist of at least 10 employers with 2 small employers (less than 50 employed) being present, and chaired by one of the employers.


The group’s role is to develop the standard which set out the skills, knowledge and behaviours for the occupation and the end point assessment, being the measurement of the competencies for the occupation, ensure the apprentice is ‘job-ready’ at the end of the apprenticeship. In determining the standard, the occupation requires at least 12 months of rigorous training – with 20% of that time allocated towards off-the-job’ training


The CPA are providing a project-management service to the employer development groups for these trailblazers:


  • Lifting Technican
  • Construction Equipment Operative
  • Construction Equipment Maintenance Engineering (Mechanic and Technician)
  • Hire Controller (Plant, Tools & Equipment)

The CPA will further act as a public point of contact for each trailblazer and will post updates and draft documentation for public review at: trailblazer projects 


Information about apprenticeships can be obtained from the Institute for Apprenticeships at:


Advice to employers on employing an apprentice can be viewed at:

Follow CPA on FacebookFollow CPA on TwitterConnect with the CPA on LinkedInConnect with CPA Bulletin on LinkedInPayments on the CPA web site are secured by SagePay