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New apprenticeship scheme for metal recyclers

Metal recyclers in the UK have signed up to the country’s first apprenticeship scheme created specifically for the industry.

The Metal Recycling General Operative scheme is open to employees of any age who will undertake a 12-18-month assessment covering the complexities faced by those working in metals recycling. The pilot phase has apprentices from ELG, EMR, Recycled Products, Recycling Lives, S. Sackers, S. Norton and Sims Metal Management.

Apprentices will learn about: environmental policy and procedures such as fire prevention plans; how to work in accordance with current legislation, including the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013; how to accept hazardous/non-hazardous materials; and industry-specific health and safety procedures such as safe systems of work and control of substances hazardous to health.

Need for career path

Antonia Grey, public affairs and communication manager, British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) says: ‘The apprenticeship was developed because we recognised the need for sector-specific qualifications, not only to bring new talent into the industry but also to provide a career path for those working in the sector. The scheme will also allow experienced employees in different areas to pass on valuable knowledge, which is often lost if they leave.’

Susie Burrage, BMRA President added: ‘By supporting the industry from the ground up and giving young people the necessary training in key business areas, we hope that we can plug the skills gap, and keep metals recycling at the forefront of the circular economy.’

Apprentices on the scheme can specialise in one of five areas: weighbridge, material classification, end-of-life vehicles, materials handling and waste electrical and electronic equipment. The apprenticeship will be rolled out from March 2019. After completing the apprenticeship, candidates will also be encouraged to join the Young British Metals Recyclers, the BMRA’s initiative targeted at those in the industry who are under 35.

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