The Ordnance, Munitions and Explosives (OME) Technician Apprenticeship is the flagship of The Royal Logistic Corps’ Apprenticeship Programme. Across the Army, there are only a handful of comparable Level 4 apprenticeships available to soldiers.
The Corps enrolled its first apprentices onto the programme in December 2020 – a process requiring a significant investment of time and effort over several years, engaging with civilian employers in order to shape the training and ensure that it was appropriate for the Army’s Ammunition Technicians.
Getting the Apprenticeship to the start line, and the application of several fundamental developments, was largely down to the boundless efforts of The RLC’s Apprenticeships Project Officer, Peter Ramsden. The Corps also recognises the ceaseless support from Pearson TQ and its colleagues who ‘leaned in’ to resolve the challenges faced in getting the Apprenticeship across the start line.
Army HQ has underwritten the process, through funding the role of RLC Apprenticeships Project Officer for the past three and a half years. Further effort by a number of internal stakeholders has also been required to ensure alignment with military training and apprenticeship operating procedures, overcoming constraints imposed by an inadequate external funding allocation. It is to the joint credit – The RLC and Pearson TQ – that the Corps has achieved this and has now registered the first Ammunition Technicians, and in numbers that far surpass the total number of apprentices mustered by civilian employers.
Looking ahead, careful co-ordination of interventions by Pearson TQ coaches and designated military mentors will be required to ensure successful outcomes. Army Apprentices must be aware that an apprenticeship at this level doesn’t just ‘come down the lines with the rations’ and that individual effort will be required to successfully achieve the End Point Assessment (EPA). It is, though, a great opportunity for RLC Ammunition Technicians. Engagement will be required with the selected EPA provider, to work through how the observation component of EPAs will take place. Ammunition Technician trade representatives will also play a key role in this engagement, together with Pearson TQ managers. Finally, the Chain of Command – as the employer of Army Apprentices – must support this initiative going forward; recognising that the operational imperative will always have priority, the Chain of Command will support their personnel in achieving successful outcomes.