If the standard was to get the go-ahead, it could be a key factor in increasing the number of vision rehabilitation workers.
By 2020, the Government has pledged to employ three million apprentices. For this ambition to be realised, employers are being asked to design what apprenticeships should look like for their sector.
Joshua Feehan, RNIB’s project manager on the Early Intervention and Rehabilitation Project and Catherine Smith, a lecturer at Birmingham City University and working with VISION 2020 UK Rehabilitation and Low Vision Committee, are driving forward a group of employers and interest groups to create the new standard.
Feehan said: “There’s been growing concern for the national shortage of rehab workers. Employers are struggling to recruit and fill positions. But now, we have the opportunity to design a standard which the sector supports.”
Under the new Government apprenticeship system, known as ‘Trailblazers’, 10 or more employers, trade bodies, and other interest groups must come together to agree the standards for the sector as a whole.
Feehan added: “It’s great to be working with local authorities, local sight loss societies and national providers to agree a standard for rehab workers.
“Once approved, the new standard will give the profession national exposure. New apprenticeship roles can be advertised on the Government’s apprenticeship website for everyone to see and apply for.”