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PROFESSION WATCH


❱❱ Switzerland tops the league as the country with the least amount of workplace absences due to sickness


British workers took the fourth lowest amount of sick days in the Continent last year, according to new research that identifies the countries most and least notorious for absences in the workforce. The research, undertaken by time and


UK TAKES LESS SICK DAYS THAN MOST OF EUROPE Switzerland topped the charts when it


workforce management systems provider Mitrefinch, found that workers in the UK took the fourth lowest amount of days off sick when compared with the rest of Europe in 2018, an average of 4.4 days. Those in the manufacturing industry fell just above the national average, taking on average 5.3 days for sick leave.


came to excellent attendance with its workers taking just 1.6 days sick leave on average over the course of a calendar year. While the stats for Swiss workers are impressive, it is important to note that companies in the country are also famously generous when it comes to annual leave entitlement – the average worker took more than five weeks’ holiday, according to recent statistics –making the efforts by British workers even more impressive. However, with recent figures also


suggesting that more than two-thirds of UK


workers avoid taking sick days and still go into work when feeling unwell, it’s encouraging that manufacturing figures suggest this industry has a changing corporate culture and attitudes more similar to different nations. Bulgarian employees were found most


likely to call in sick, taking on average 22 days off a year, according to the most recent figures. Workers in Germany didn’t fare too much better, taking 18.3 days, with those in the Czech Republic also taking off the equivalent of more than three working weeks with sickness (15.4 days).


The Engineering Council (EC) has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) as the External Quality Assurance (EQA) provider for a number of engineering apprenticeship standards, including civil, railway and transport planning technicians as well as non- destructive testing engineering technicians. This activity is in line with the EC’s


support for the delivery of high-quality apprenticeships that meet the needs of


38 /// Testing & Test Houses /// April 2020


EC BECOMES EXTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE PROVIDER The EC is the most appropriate body to


employers and apprentices; assure the public about the competence of those who are successful and support individuals on their journey towards professional registration. The system of EQA provides for


independent monitoring of the end-point assessment (EPA) that apprentices undertake at the close of their apprenticeship, to ensure that it is fair, consistent and robust across different apprenticeship standards and between different assessment organisations.


carry out this quality assurance for engineering-related apprenticeships because it licenses professional engineering institutions to carry out the assessment of individuals seeking registration, in accordance with required EC standards and prescribed processes. These standards apply across the profession, regardless of sector or discipline, making the Engineering Council ideally placed to assure consistency and quality of assessment.


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