As an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), TQUK is dedicated to maintaining high quality standards in apprenticeships. The very root of what we do – assessment – is about making sure that apprentices are fully job-ready when they finish their programme and that national standards have been met.
According to the Department for Education’s apprenticeship accountability statement, responsibility for ensuring the quality of training for higher level apprenticeships is the responsibility of the Office for Students (OfS). However, the OfS has said that their remit only extends to those apprenticeships with a prescribed higher education qualification and that these apprenticeships had no degree element. The way the document is worded, it is not entirely clear who is responsible for what, and when the story broke, Ofsted and the OfS started playing pass the parcel.
A Larger Issue
This situation is representative of an ongoing structural problem with establishing and implementing the required oversight and quality procedures needed for apprenticeships. It is not limited to higher level apprenticeships.
Since TQUK started delivering End-Point Assessment, we have encountered level 2 and 3 apprenticeship standards that do not have confirmed external quality assurers (EQA), despite the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) stating that EQAs would be in place for all apprenticeship standards upon launch. As we have discussed in a previous blog, TQUK is doing everything we can to establish quality procedures that all apprentices deserve. EPAOs are also forced to navigate the often poorly written assessment plans without any support or comparability framework. Apprenticeship standards can easily slip when proper quality assurance procedures aren’t put in place by the regulators.
The Institute for Apprenticeships also continues with its ‘Better, Faster’ campaign to publish more apprenticeship standards while improving the experience for trailblazer groups. This is great and standards need to be released faster. However, not enough has been done to resolve issues raised around some early produced assessment plans which lack detail and have no comparability. Support for EPAOs has also been lacking. There needs to be far more effort to ensure that no apprentice is left behind and that rigorous quality procedures are in place for all apprenticeships.
As an EPAO, we are all about quality. It’s our job to make sure that apprentices receive a quality assessment, and by extension that employers get quality apprentices. We welcome more quality assurance into the apprenticeships process. Above all, we want all organisations involved in apprenticeships to be held accountable.
Retail Team Leaders are vital to any retail establishment. They provide crucial support to their managers and deputise for them in their absence. A large aspect of their role requires guiding and coordinating their retail team to complete tasks and meet business targets that help drive sales. They must also ensure that their team members maintain business standards in regards to product merchandising, customer service and promotional activities.
In this apprenticeship, apprentices will be trained to the highest standard in multiple areas of a retail business. They will gain vital knowledge and skills across the customer, financial, marketing, leadership and sales and promotion aspect of their business, among many other areas.
After they complete their training, apprentices will undertake the final stages of assessment, also known as End-Point Assessment, in order to pass their apprenticeship. End-Point Assessment consists of thorough assessment procedures that ensure an apprentice is able to meet nationally set standards.
The End-Point Assessment for the Retail Team Leader apprenticeship is split into three parts:
Retail Business Project
This 60-minute On-Demand Test will be in multiple-choice format. The questions will test apprentices on the knowledge and skills covered in the Apprenticeship Standard. They will be scenario based and will require apprentices to demonstrate reasoning and joined up thinking against key elements of the Standard. Some questions will require the apprentice to consider a course of action to a problem based on a real-life workplace activity.
Some examples of the subjects the apprentice will be tested on include:
Understanding how to support effective communication, quickly determining the situation and needs of individuals and how to respond in the most appropriate way
Knowing methods of merchandising throughout the retail operation
Understanding the principles of stock control, from sourcing to sale
Understanding the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of themselves and others to develop a high performing team in the business
The On-Demand Test will be on-screen and computer marked unless the apprentice requires an alternative method, such as a paper-based exam. The Test will take place in a controlled environment, away from the pressures of work.
Retail Business Project
The Retail Business Project requires the apprentice to plan and undertake a project that focuses on an immediate problem, opportunity or idea relevant to their day to day role. It should include a research proposal, identify measurable improvements in their business and make recommendations for implementation. An example of a Project could be to identify a potential cost-saving measure the business could use through improving efficiency, reducing waste or finding alternative ways of working to achieve business objectives.
The Project will be identified by the apprentice and discussed with their line manager first, then with their on-programme assessor at least one month before their readiness for independent end assessment. This allows the apprentice time to prepare a one-page synopsis of their proposed project which they must bring to their independent end assessment planning meeting. The independent end assessor and the employer will then determine whether the proposed project has the potential to meet the criteria of the Retail Business Project. The Project must contain the following:
Introduction and background
Outline of challenge or opportunity
Aims and objectives
Identification of measurable improvements and benefits to the organisation
Evidence of consultation and engagement of stakeholders
Analysis of costs and commercial context
Legislative requirements explained and adhered to
Evidence of effective research
Justified recommendations for implementation
Proposed timeframes for implementation
Once the project proposal has been approved by the independent end assessor, the apprentice will need to undertake their project and present their findings to the assessor within the three month end assessment period. The presentation will take place in a controlled environment and will last 30 minutes long, which includes time for questions and answers at the end.
The apprentice will also need to provide supporting evidence to show that they’ve completed each of the underpinning activities that lead them to make their recommendations to the independent end assessor. Additionally, the apprentice must supply evidence of the actions that they’ve undertaken as part of the Project at least five working days before the presentation. There is no word count and the apprentice can present this information however they’d like, such as in a business report. They must include details of how and what research was undertaken, the costings and how the legal implications have been considered.
The Professional Discussion is a structured one-hour discussion between the apprentice and their independent end assessor. Their employer will be in the discussion to provide further examples and support the apprentice, but will not lead or score the Discussion. The independent end assessor who conducts the Professional Discussion should normally be the same person who assessed the Retail Business Project. This allows them to ask the apprentice questions regarding:
The period of learning, development and continuous assessment
Coverage of the standard
Personal development and reflection
The apprentice will be informed of the requirements of the Discussion at least five days in advance. The Professional Discussion is an opportunity for the independent end assessor and employer to discuss the apprentice’s performance across the whole Standard. As part of this, the apprentice can bring materials to the Discussion to help demonstrate their competence. The Professional Discussion will recognise areas that have already been covered in the Retail Business Project so that apprentices will not be re-assessed in an area which they’ve already demonstrated competence in.
Here are a few examples of areas the apprentice must display capability in to pass their Discussion:
Explain why it is essential to instil the importance of following procedures to staff
Provide examples of how staff are managed effectively, including motivation and development of teams and individual staff members
Provide an overview of how the retail operation meets the needs of the business
Explain the importance of keeping up to date with current industry trends and provide examples of how this has been achieved
Here are a few examples of areas in which the apprentice must display capability to achieve a Distinction:
Demonstrate staff engagement, motivation, performance management and how this has led to increased performance
Describe how recommendations for the improvement of quality, cost, value or efficiency have been made and implemented in the organisation
Provide mentorship to team members with measurable improvements to the performance of individuals and the team
The Discussion will be conducted in a controlled environment, away from their normal place of work. If all parties can’t meet in the same place, then the Discussion may be conducted using technology such as a video link, as long as fair assessment conditions can be maintained.
After their apprenticeship, apprentices can progress into a junior retail management position.
Whether you’re an apprentice or employer, we hope this gave you more insight into the Retail Team Leader apprenticeship!
If you’d like to see the range of standards we provide End-Point Assessment for, click here. Otherwise, to keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Every kitchen is an orchestra. One station is the woodwinds, another is the strings, the next is percussion. Every person in each station plays a role that is vital to the overall production, and their contributions must be balanced against each other as they work towards a larger product.
Senior Production Chefs are the conductors of these orchestras who make sure all sections hit the right notes.
Senior Production Chefs work in settings where food is often produced to a high volume, like hospitals, care homes, schools, high street dining establishments and pubs. They often work to the specifications of centrally-produced menus. One of the challenges that Senior Production Chefs face is not only working towards perfection but maintaining that perfection over time and across a large array of dishes. They will be able to work independently or lead a team to maintain their establishment’s brand and reputation.
Apprentices taking on this apprenticeship programme will be trained to the highest standard in a variety of areas. They will demonstrate a range of culinary, food safety, people and business knowledge, skills and behaviours.
After they complete their training programme, apprentices will undergo the final test – the End-Point Assessment. End-Point Assessment is a balanced and rigorous assessment procedure that guarantees an apprentice is able to meet nationally set standards.
The End-Point Assessment for Senior Production Chefs is split into three parts: an On-Demand Test, a Practical Observation and a Professional Discussion. In order to achieve their certification, apprentices must pass every assessment activity.
The On-Demand Test will be in a multiple-choice format, with test questions devised and written by the End-Point Assessment Organisation. (That’s us!) The test will take 90 minutes and contain 45 equally weighted questions. In most cases, the test will take place on-screen and will be computer marked. However, in certain instances, paper tests can be provided.
The apprentice, assessor and employer will schedule a time for this test to take place. It will take place in a secure environment free from distraction and interruption.
This activity is designed to test the knowledge the apprentice gained during their apprenticeship. Knowledge areas covered will include, and are not limited to:
The importance of monitoring the correct use and maintenance of food production equipment and the procedure for dealing with misuse and malfunctions
The importance of combining nutrient groups to produce balanced menu items and dishes
The importance of checking that the food production team is meeting the specific needs of individuals
How to support and influence the team positively to deliver a high-quality product
During the Practical Observation, apprentices will demonstrate their skills to the assessor in real time. During the Observation, the assessor will observe the apprentice in their normal place of work for 4 hours and can ask questions to clarify their observations. The Observation will be planned in advance, with the time and place agreed by the apprentice, employer and assessor.
The apprentice will demonstrate key skills and behaviours by supervising the production kitchen while adhering to:
Brand / organisational quality, standards and specifications, customer’s individual needs, safe and hygienic working practices
Organisational standards to support, inform and update team members
Correct use of technology, equipment and resources in daily working practices
During the observation, the apprentice must, among other things:
Supervise the production of centrally developed menu items and dishes according to organisational specifications
Monitor the production of food to ensure clients’ needs are met
Monitor and ensure the effective implementation of food safety management systems
Strive to achieve the required outcome and support positive, open communications that help team members achieve the best result for customers and the business
Grading will on a Fail, Pass basis. To Pass the observation, the apprentice must, among other things:
Demonstrate commercial understanding by producing food which supports revenue targets, cost reduction, improved performance and maintains profit margins.
Supervise the production of quality food items with passion and enthusiasm while maintaining organisational / brand standards, procedures and ensuring clients’ needs are met
Monitor the efficient, safe use of kitchen tools, equipment and technology ensuring productivity and business objectives are met.
Act as a role model to the team applying communication skills to demonstrate fairness and empathy within a customer-centric culture.
The Professional Discussion will take place after all other assessment activities are completed. This assessment activity will be a structured discussion between the apprentice and the assessor and is designed to cover any areas of the apprenticeship standard that were not covered by the other activities. The assessor will ask a minimum of 10 questions based on the criteria in the apprenticeship standard. The Discussion must be structured so as to draw out the best of the apprentice’s energy, enthusiasm, competence and excellence.
The Discussion can be conducted remotely (e.g. using conferencing technology like Skype) if needed and will always take place in a quiet controlled environment, free from distraction and interruption. The Discussion will last 60 minutes and will be marked by the assessor using a standard template.
During the Discussion, the apprentice must demonstrate, among other things:
The organisation or brand specifications and how to use them to produce standardised menu items and dishes
The importance of keeping up-to-date with product range, brand development, promotions and current trends
How to operate efficiently to deliver profit margins, reduce wastage and support the overall financial performance of the business
The ability to acquire and share with the team up-to-date information regarding product range, brand development, promotions and current trends
This assessment activity is graded on a Fail, Pass, Distinction basis. To Pass during the Professional Discussion, the apprentice must, among other things:
Correctly identify the organisation’s vision, values and brand standards and relate them to the food production
Explain the importance of upholding organisational standards and keeping up with product ranges, promotions and current trends
Relate the sharing of information regarding product range, brand development, promotions and current trends to the team
Identify customer profiles and main competitors and explain how these affect food production, market position and the growth strategy of the organisation.
Be able to explain efficient operating methods to deliver profit margins, reduce wastage and support the financial performance of the business and how to implement them
To achieve a Distinction, in addition to the Pass criteria, the apprentice must be able to:
Show evidence of proactive leadership, anticipating outcomes and offering solutions to challenges
Analyse methods used to develop a positive team-working environment, applying actions that support the team, organisation and stakeholders
Be able to confidently appraise team and business performance to support business objectives
Be able to generate data to justify profit margins, wastage reduction and cost savings.
Be able to propose measures to support due diligence of kitchen legislation
Once all assessment activities are complete, the assessor will compile all the apprentice’s grades and produce a final grade based on the table below:
Overall Grade Awarded
Once the apprentice has successfully completed their apprenticeship, they will be free to progress onto a higher level position, apprenticeship or further training.
We hope this gave you more insight into the Senior Production Chef apprenticeship!
After lots of hard work, we’re delighted to announce that we have been approved to deliver EPA for Customer Service Specialist apprenticeships. This addition to our list will perfectly complement our EPA services for Customer Service Practitioner, making TQUK a premier EPAO for customer service-related apprenticeships.
We also have plans in the works to deliver EPA for three more standards!
A Customer Service Specialist can work in all sectors and organisation types. They act as a point of contact for more complex or technical customer service requests, complaints and queries. They are experts in their organisation’s products and/or service and will share that expertise with teams and colleagues to achieve the best possible results for their organisation.
They will gather and analyse data and customer information that can be used to prompt change and improvements in customer service. They should be able to use both organisational and generic IT systems in a variety of environments, including contact centres, retail locations, webchats or customer service points.
End-Point Assessment Components:
Practical Observation with Question and Answer
Work-Based Project (supported by Interview)
Professional Discussion (with Portfolio of Evidence)
A Production Chef works as part of a team in time-bound and often challenging kitchen environments, including schools, hospitals, the Armed Forces, care homes, high street casual dining establishments and pub kitchens. Production Chefs are likely to work with centrally developed standardised recipes and menus, often producing food in high volumes. They apply highly methodical organisational skills, energy, accuracy and attention to detail, and are mindful of the importance of sustainability and protecting the environment.
A Production Chef will:
Maintain excellent standards of personal, food and kitchen hygiene
Ensure compliance with procedures, menu specifications and recipes
Produce food which meets portion control and budgetary constraints
Adapt and produce dishes to meet special dietary, religious and allergenic requirements
Follow, complete and maintain production schedules, legislative and quality standard documentation
Use specialist kitchen equipment
Communicate internally and externally with customers and colleagues
Children, Young People & Families Practitioners work with a range of people and professionals to achieve positive and sustainable change in the lives of children, young people and families. They demonstrate a passion for care and will be skilled in recognising and assessing the complex needs that children, young people and families often present.
Their ultimate aim is to challenge and support children, young people and families to achieve their goals while keeping them safe. They will work alongside other professionals and organisations to improve the lives of individuals and use a range of evidence-based approaches to inform their practice. They will remain effective through a continuous process of review and reflection under an experienced practitioner.
Apprentices can choose between two pathways:
Pathway 1: Practitioner in Children’s Residential Care
Apprentices on this pathway can work in a number of settings, including a children’s home, a residential special school or a secure children’s home. The children might be living on their own or in a larger group. Practitioners will take the lead in developing and delivering the child’s placement plan and will work with the child to support their health, education, social and day-to-day needs, playing a significant role in helping them to thrive and fulfil their potential.
Pathway 2: Children, Young People and Families Practitioner within the Community
Apprentices on this pathway will understand the importance of, and be skilled in, early intervention and safeguarding work. They will manage risk across the spectrum of needs for children, young people and families. They may work in settings as diverse as family homes, youth centres, early years, youth justice, children’s centres, educational settings and the community. They may work with particular age groups, across the full age range or specifically with families. By supporting the confidence and skills of children, young people and families, they will help them to overcome barriers and maximise their independence.
Children, Young People & Family Managers ensure direction, alignment and commitment, whether it is within their own organisation or across partnerships, to help children, young people and families aspire to achieve sustainable change in their lives. They build teams, manage resources and lead new approaches to work practices that deliver improved outcomes that put the child, young person or family at the centre of practice.
They work in a range of settings which can include local authorities, health organisations, educational settings, early years settings or children’s centres, as well as a wide range of private voluntary and community organisations. They may be solely responsible for the management of a team or service or may be part of a management team. To deliver an effective service, they will work on a multi-agency basis with professionals from many backgrounds, as well as team leaders and managers from their own organisation. They will also inform and improve practice by acting on new research and developments into how the needs of children, young people and families are best met.
Apprentices can choose between two pathways:
Pathway 1: Manager in Children’s Residential Care
Apprentices on this pathway will play a leading role in encouraging a home-centred ethos and creating a sense of purpose for the long-term care and support of children and young people in residential care.
Pathway 2: Children, Young People and Families Manager within the Community
Apprentices on this pathway will work to develop a community-focused environment within a particular group (e.g. early years, youth, youth justice, family work, special educational needs and disability) and build consensus and support for improving outcomes collectively. They will lead and support the development of practice in the care and support of children, young people and families within their community.
Having a bully on your team is a serious drag. They decrease morale, goodwill and the willingness of team members to go out of their way for each other. They can also be a huge drain on your team’s productivity and can seriously hamper what you can get done.
As a management apprentice, you have to learn everything it takes to make your team as happy, efficient and productive as possible. In order to do that, you need to make sure that a bully doesn’t find a home on your team. So, here are some tips to help you identify bullying and how to address it.
What is bullying?
Bullying can be hard to define but tends to involve persistent and ongoing acts of incivility or hostility directed towards an individual or group. Ultimately, it is a way of intimidating and dominating others through physical, emotional or psychological control.
Bullying is extremely prevalent in UK workplaces. A 2015 study conducted by YouGov for TUC found that nearly a third of people (29% of those surveyed) had been bullied at work and more than one in three (36%) people who reported being bullied at work ended up leaving their job because of it.
The effects of workplace bullying are quite stark. Nearly half (46%) of people surveyed said it had an adverse impact on their performance at work. The same proportion believed it had a negative impact on their mental health. More than a quarter (28%) said it had a detrimental effect on them physically. One in five (22%) had to take time off work as a result of being bullied.
A similar study conducted by ACAS in 2015 found that people who experienced consistent bullying suffered from a range of psychological and physical health problems, which often affected their relationships with family and friends. In some cases, bullying even led to individuals developing post-traumatic stress disorder.
How you can address bullying in your workplace
To prevent this from happening in your workplace, here are some things you can do to spot and eliminate bullying.
Have a workplace bullying policy
To prevent bullying, it is best to spell out in clear terms what behaviour is and isn’t acceptable in your workplace in a workplace bullying policy. This can be a reference all employees can turn to in case they experience bullying in their role. This document should outline what constitutes bullying and the HR procedures in place to deal with it in the workplace.
If your organisation does not have a bullying or harassment policy, encourage those in charge to get one in place as soon as possible.
Recognise the telltale signs of bullying
Bullying can be hard to identify from a distance, but the following behaviour can be indicators of bullying:
Excessive name-calling, insults or unhealthy/inappropriate jokes
Spreading malicious rumours
Individuals giving others unachievable or meaningless tasks
Intentional exclusion of one person or particular people from social gatherings, relevant meetings or important emails
Individuals being given too much work
Individuals being given unreasonable response times
Individuals experiencing threats about their job security without foundation
Any form of physical intimidation
Encourage members of your team to come forward with their grievances
Bullying isn’t always observable. It can take the form of subtle and insidious comments, quietly delivered, that can erode the victim’s confidence. This type of bullying doesn’t necessarily leave much tangible evidence. These actions can also be hard to observe outside of the particular interpersonal relationship. One way to combat this is by encouraging all members of staff to come forward with any concerns. Guarantee respectful consideration of all issues.
Address bullying as it happens
If you find yourself in an instance where you can see someone clearly being bullied, one of the best things you can do is take immediate action. Attempt to defuse the situation by taking the person doing the bullying aside and telling them what they are doing and how it is not acceptable. Address the situation informally first and see if their behaviour can be changed. In many cases, consistent reminders of inappropriate behaviour can do the trick. Bullying is often unintentional. Letting people know how their behaviour affects others can be the catalyst they need to change.
If the problem persists, you may want to consider escalating your response to a formal reprimand in line with your workplace bullying policy.
If you receive a report of bullying from someone on your team, look into matters first before you come to a conclusion. Sometimes, bullying can simply result from clashing personalities or a lack of communication. However, take all reports of bullying in your workplace seriously.
Don’t be distracted by good performance
When an individual on a team performs well in their job but behaves badly, their manager can sometimes dismiss their behaviour as a ‘price to pay’. What’s worse, the individual in question will have a rebuttal of any criticisms about their performance: they do what others can’t.
Remember: high performers that make the workplace a hostile environment are actually bad performers. Bullying, if left unaddressed, will hurt your team’s performance in the long run. The performance and productivity you lose won’t be made up by a single person, no matter how good they are.
You can help make your workplace better now that you know more about it!
Learning and Development (L&D) is an ongoing educational and training process that aims to improve group or individual performance within an organisation by increasing and honing skills and knowledge. L&D can be used in any area where improvement is needed or skills gaps exist. L&D initiatives are also connected to continuing professional development plans for workers to help them meet their requirements and goals.
Here are a few reasons why companies are investing in L&D
When employees learn new skills, they can use those skills for the company. In an ever-changing economy, organisations need to be nimble and respond to opportunities as they present themselves.
When you engage in L&D, you are addressing your organisation’s weaknesses. By doing so, you will increase consistency, productivity, quality standards and more.
Offering L&D increases a company’s reputation and profile.
It will also decrease a company’s employee turnover.
In order to get the most out of L&D, businesses need the input of L&D professionals. As an End-Point Assessment Organisation, TQUK is dedicated to ensuring all the L&D apprentices we assess meet the highest standards so that they can meet and surpass the needs of their employers and clients.
If you’re an employer thinking of taking on an L&D apprentice, then read on to find out more about the End-Point Assessment for these L&D apprenticeships:
A Learning and Development Practitioner will specialise in creating new and useful learning and training programmes, primarily for employees of organisations. They work with organisations to design training programmes, deliver training and sustain the benefits of this training.
Learning and Development Practitioners will have experience in a particular field, which can include technical, vocational or behavioural fields, such as food preparation, software design, healthcare provision or any number of other areas. They will use their area expertise and learning and development skills to improve business performance and achieve an organisation’s goals by understanding how people learn and apply that learning in the workplace. The Learning and Development Practitioner can work in a wide range of organisations in the public, private or third sectors and will be dedicated to improving future performance in the workplace at an individual, team and organisational level.
Learning and Development Consultant/Business Partners are responsible for identifying areas of improvement in individuals, groups and organisations and finding appropriate L&D solutions to improve them. Learning and Development Consultants/Business Partners also ensure that the L&D techniques they recommend align with the strategic ambitions and objectives of the business, finding creative ways to overcome obstacles. As part of their role, they can influence key stakeholders and make decisions on what the business can and should do in an L&D context.
Learning and Development Consultants/Business Partners must also measure the outcomes and returns on investment. They will usually have expertise in a specific field, whether it be technical, vocational or behavioural.
These apprenticeships can be general or more specialised. Apprentices can focus on a specific L&D area like organisational development, digital learning, resourcing or talent management. Regardless of the area of focus, the role requires good knowledge across all areas of L&D and is business and future-focused.
The role can exist in a range of organisations that span across the private, public and third sector. The individual in this role will typically work alongside employees in Human Resources and will often be supported by an L&D Administrator or an L&D Practitioner.
Work Based Project with Professional Discussion
Presentation and Q&A Based on Learning Journal
We hope that this blog has piqued your interest in L&D apprenticeships and has demonstrated the value that any L&D apprentice can bring to your business!
This Sunday, the 11th of November, will be Armistice Day and Remembrance Day. So we’d like to highlight the importance of these days and take a moment to reflect on the past and the present.
What is Armistice Day and Remembrance Day?
Armistice Day commemorates the day that World War One ended. It honours the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany which took place on 11am on the 11th day of November in 1918 and finally stopped the fighting that raged across the world. Remembrance Day, which also commemorates the lives lost in this War, is held on the second Sunday in November, which is why both days fall on Sunday this year.
A two-minute silence is held at 11am to remember those who died in the First World War and all the other wars that came after. The first two-minute silence was held in Britain on 11th November 1919, a year after WWI ended, when King George V issued a proclamation to the public calling for a two-minute silence to remember those who had lost their lives. Many bow their head and close their eyes during these minutes and spend time reflecting and respecting those who have sacrificed their lives for their country.
Why are Poppies Significant?
In the week before Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, you’ll find poppies being sold by volunteers all over the country. Poppies have become a symbol of remembrance because they were the flowers that grew on the battlefields after WWI ended. They are bought and worn by millions across the country every year.
The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign which is held every November. You can donate to The Poppy Appeal by visiting their website. Donations will go towards supporting those who are in need within the Armed Forces community.
A Time to Reflect
2018 marks the 100 year anniversary of the end of WWI. This Sunday, we ask that you put your own life in perspective as you reflect on the terrible effects of war. There are still many parts of the world afflicted by war and conflict today, and Remembrance Day is the perfect opportunity to remind oneself that we are fortunate to live in a peaceful Britain.
We’d like to end this blog with a poem to help you reflect on the past and present as Sunday arrives:
As the rest of England hunkers down for a night of bonfires, cider and fireworks, TQUK is hatching a cunning plot.
On this day, like Guy Fawkes on that fateful night in 1605, TQUK is staging a stunt to completely change the landscape of our workplace.
And by workplace, we mean our upper lips.
All the lads in the office decided to grow out some wily whiskers to help raise funds for men’s physical and mental health with the Movember Foundation UK that funds prostate cancer research, testicular cancer research and mental health and suicide prevention. If you get a chance, donate to the TQUK team to sponsor the growth of our magnificent moustaches.
So today, we thought we’d pay homage to one of the most iconic moustaches out there, made famous by Guy Fawkes himself: the Van Dyke.
The Van Dyke
The Van Dyke was named after the 17th-century Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck and became very popular in Britain and Europe during the 1600s. The style consists of any growth of both a moustache and goatee with clean-shaven cheeks. Within those parameters, there’s loads of variation. You can have upturned whiskers and downturned whiskers, a soul patch or a balbo. The Van Dyke is a very versatile style, open to many personalities and interpretations.
Along with Guy Fawkes, other famous sporters of the Van Dyke include Charles I of England, George Armstrong Custer, Vladimir Lenin, Colonel Sanders and Johnny Depp. It is commonly known as a barber’s greatest challenge and a hipster’s fever dream.
It’s every man’s dream to have their facial hair live on in the cultural zeitgeist. Do you think the sumptuous soup strainers of TQUK will live on in similar infamy? We’ll let you decide!
This is some bushy brilliance. Notice how the ends curl up to create an elegant, well-maintained effect. Gorgeous!
A marvellous moustache if there ever was one. It makes us want to strap on some suspenders and visit our local speakeasy. Amazing!
A stylish and understated tache that’s the height of sophistication. Brilliant!
Fabulous facial hair is the name of this man’s game. Look at that cocked eyebrow. Brilliant!
Hold on! We think we have a winner! That is a veritable Van Dyke right there!
On Bonfire Night, when you’re huddled around a fire, keep an eye out for those pointy whiskers. It just might be a member of the TQUK team!
The new apprenticeship standards are designed to improve upon what’s gone before and help with the apprentice’s initial journey into their chosen career, before you know it, they’ll be on the road to success.