article added: 2011-03-22 15:52:51
MLA CAMPAIGNS FOR INDUSTRY RECOGNITION
Master Locksmiths Association funds development of nationally recognised locksmithing qualifications and apprenticeship framework in England.
The UK’s biggest locksmithing trade association is reaffirming its commitment to the long-term development of the profession by funding the creation of nationally recognised qualifications.
Working alongside the skills body for the security industry, Skills for Security, the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) has been instrumental in promoting the development of nationally recognised qualifications and a dedicated apprenticeship framework for the locksmithing sector in England.
Skills for Security and an Advisory Working group comprising a significant number of MLA members and other industry practitioners (working locksmiths) have been working for 12 months on National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the industry which will be submitted to the regulator at the end of this month (March). Once approved, qualifications can then be developed by Skills for Security and industry practitioners.
As well as spearheading the campaign to create a nationally recognised qualification, the MLA is also financially supporting the development of the programme through surplus expected from the organisation’s MLA Expo 2011 exhibition at The International Centre in Telford (9-11 September).
An initial consultation meeting is being held for all locksmiths interested in discussing their views on qualifications and apprenticeships. It will be held on 6 May 2011, 10am – 12noon at Skills for Security in Worcester, after which a working group will be established to begin the development process.
Dr Steffan George, development director from the MLA said: “The MLA has been campaigning for a nationally recognised locksmithing qualification and an apprenticeship scheme for years in order to raise standards, help legitimise the profession and improve the reputation of our industry whilst assisting companies wanting to employ apprentices. In Skills for Security we now have a partner which shares our passion for developing the industry and the people who work in it.
“By sharing sector experience and knowledge across the locksmithing industry, we hope to create a universally recognised benchmark and increase consumer perception of locksmithing as a skilled and professional industry.
“Because the MLA is so passionate about achieving a professional status for the locksmithing industry, we are investing surplus made at this year’s MLA Expo to developing this qualification and apprenticeship framework. We encourage anyone looking to support our mission to show their support by coming along to the Expo in September.”
Developing a qualification framework and apprenticeship scheme is part of the MLA’s push to regulate the locksmithing profession and boost public perception. It is also campaigning to combat unregulated training courses and the sale of specialist tools to un-vetted and possibly ill-trained individuals or those looking to use the tools to the detriment of the public.
David Greer, CEO of Skills for Security said: “As an employer-led organisation, one of our core functions is to consult with employers and stakeholders throughout the UK to ensure that we understand the needs and views of the various sectors that make up the security business sector. Working in close partnership with the MLA and locksmithing companies will ensure that what we develop delivers the skills, competencies and qualifications employers, staff and clients need.
“The meeting in May gives locksmiths the opportunity to discuss and identify their qualification and apprenticeship requirements and our role is to ensure that their aspirations meet the regulatory guidance and that the qualifications we develop are fit for purpose. The Government is currently supporting apprenticeships with increased funding for training, so this is a great way to encourage younger people into the locksmithing profession.”