The Social Market Foundation (SMF) has published findings urging for the title of ‘Master Craftsman’ to be adopted to raise the status of apprenticeships.
The independent report – Making apprenticeships work – sponsored by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, suggests that those who complete apprenticeships should be allowed to call themselves ‘Craftsman’ or ‘Craftswoman’ – putting their qualifications on a par with university degrees.
The report goes on to suggest those holding the most prestigious apprenticeships might be addressed as ‘Master Craftsman’ or ‘Master Craftswoman,’ in the same way that people who complete a PhD are entitled to be called ‘Doctor’.
Calling on The Institute for Apprenticeships to consider the case for new labelling of apprenticeships by level, the SMF said it would help holders signal to employers and the public how qualified they are.
Kevin Wellman, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), said: “The CIPHE supports all measures to encourage apprenticeships, especially in the fields of engineering. We wholeheartedly agree that quality apprenticeships deliver highly trained and skilled individuals, who must be seen as being on a par with those holding academic qualifications. Indeed, recognising excellence in our chosen vocation is a very practical way of maintaining and raising standards.
“The Institute and many people in our industry have long held the title of ‘Master’ in high esteem – as we have seen through the ongoing success of the Master Plumber Certificate scheme, which was introduced in 2001. It stands to reason that the adoption of titles such as ‘Master’ and ‘Craftsman/Craftswoman’ will give employers and the public a tangible label that they see the value in, and most vitally, understand.”