A company that fixes smartphones has called for the creation of an official device repair apprenticeship.
TMT First runs its own device repair apprenticeship scheme after it struggled to find staff with the right skills, but there is no industry-wide training standard.
Founder Adam Whitehouse told the BBC that mechanics could choose from a number of nationally recognised apprenticeship schemes despite there being around 33 million cars on the road, compared with 72 mobile phone connections in use in the UK.
“There’s lots of young techy people out there who perhaps have even tinkered around with phones at home themselves, and are really interested in how they can do this better, and maybe create a career out of it,” he told BBC News.
“If you think about the technology and all the devices in our homes today, those things need repairing. And when people are taught the correct way of doing that, these devices will last for longer.”
Repairing a phone or other smart device rather than throwing it away or buying a new one is considered better for the environment as phone components can be toxic and the production process is carbon-intensive.
The company has trained and developed more than 50 members of staff, including a number of apprentices.
The government has said it will make £2.7bn available by 2025 for businesses in sectors that want to set up relevant schemes.
Whitehouse and bosses from a number of companies had submitted a proposal to the Department for Education before the pandemic, but several of these have now gone out of business.
According to figures from the London Progression Collaboration, entry-level apprenticeship starts have dropped by 72% since 2014.
A number of industry bodies, including the CBI and the CIPD, have called for apprenticeship frameworks to be more flexible and inclusive so organisations can develop the skills they need.