The Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC) has been established to develop the first apprenticeship programme designed specifically to train and upskill individuals in developing, manufacturing and delivering these innovative therapies at scale.
Advanced therapies have the potential to address significant and growing unmet healthcare needs. They offer the promise of treating and altering the course of diseases which cannot be addressed adequately by existing pharmaceuticals. The UK is at the leading edge of this disruptive industry and there is an opportunity to build a large-scale industry delivering health and wealth.
Underpinning the success of the industry and fuelling growth are the skills scientists needed to develop, manufacture and deliver these innovative therapies. As the industry grows and companies progress towards manufacturing and delivery, more new and unique skills are required than what is currently available – and recruitment and retention of these individuals is becoming increasingly challenging, limiting growth.
Responding to the recommendations of the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) has been awarded £1.5 million by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to establish the Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC). The purpose of the community is to create a ready supply of skilled talent ranging from manufacturing operatives to technical experts and researchers to fuel the growth of the UK advanced therapies industry.
CGT Catapult is working with industry to develop a series of bespoke apprenticeship standards and continuing professional development programmes that train and upskill individuals to develop, manufacture and deliver advanced therapies at scale.
What are they?
An apprenticeship allows an individual to combine work and study by mixing on-the-job training with formal learning. Providing a fantastic opportunity to improve their career prospects, whether at the start of their career, or expanding their skills and experience within the workplace. For employers’ apprenticeships offer a number of benefits including overcoming skills shortages and attracting new talent.
An apprenticeship is made up of several components that are put together to create a ‘standard’, which, when complete, demonstrates occupational competence within the studied area. An apprenticeship programme structure will be a mixture of competencies and skills, knowledge, behaviour and transferable skills. This is a recognised route to show occupational competence.
How long do they take?
The duration of an apprenticeship is outlined within its standard. The actual time scale for completion will be set out in the apprentices individual learning plan (ILP) once formally enrolled with a recognised training provider; considering any prior experience and learning. Apprenticeships are a minimum of 12 months typically for an intermediate (level 2) programme and can be up to five years for higher (level 4 and 5) and degree (level 6 and 7) apprenticeships.
Types of apprenticeship
There are various levels ranging from level 2 up to level 7. Across all levels, apprentices work towards work-based learning to demonstrate occupational competence or skills, knowledge, behaviour and functional skills. An overview of the levels and equivalencies are:
Level 2 programme
Equivalent to 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C or grades 9 to 4
Level 3 programme
Equivalent to 2 A Level passes
Levels 4 and 5 programmes
Equivalent to a HNC (for Level 4) or HND or a Foundation Degree (for Level 5)
Levels 6 and 7 programmes
Equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree or Postgraduate Diploma (Level 6) or a Master’s Degree (Level 7)
How are they structured?
The programme of an apprenticeship requires five aspects to be successfully completed. This may vary depending on the standard being completed, therefore the actual structure and the assessment methods used will differ. The actual structure would therefore be discussed with the apprentice, once formally enrolled on the programme with the chosen registered training provider and end-point assessment organisation.
COMPETENCE OR SKILLS
END-POINT ASSESSMENT (EPA)