Skills for Justice have been working with staff from Trading Standards and Environmental Health departments across ten local authorities across Scotland on the development of a new qualification and Modern Apprenticeship for young people looking to join the sector.
Regulatory Services (Environmental Health Services and Trading standards) have seen a sharp decline in their workforce by 23% and 20% respectively. Both workforces have an ageing demographic and very few new entrants. If this trend continues over the next five years, there will be an acute shortage of Environmental Health Officers and Trading Standards Officers across the whole of Scotland and so there is a need to try and attract a younger workforce.
Currently, there is no defined route into the Trading Standards profession other than via the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s qualifications framework. This requires candidates to undertake a course of study while working within a Trading Standards environment. For Environmental Health the main route into the profession is through a University degree course. However as stated above, the number of entrants have declined and continue to do so. These issues have resulted in increased difficulty for both professions to sustainably recruit, train and retain staff. Local Government have considered the options and possibilities available to them and have decided that one of the most viable options to open this sector to a younger demographic is to develop a Modern Apprenticeship which compliments the existing/traditional professional qualifications.
The development of the Modern Apprenticeship will open this sector up to young people and give them opportunities for career progression on completion of the Modern Apprenticeship whilst giving them recognition for the work they carry out during the term of the apprenticeship. The MA will enable Regulatory Services in Scotland to continue their vital work with the assurance that they have secured a workforce for the future. It is anticipated that the MA will be available later in 2018.