If you’re interested in enrolling in an apprenticeship, then you’ve come to the perfect place. To give you that final push towards applying for an opening, here are five awesome reasons to become an apprentice!

1. Earn While You Learn

The cost of post-16 education can be a massive stumbling block for many people.

English universities can charge up to £9,000 per year for an undergraduate degree for local students, which totals £27,000 for a typical three year undergraduate degree. Many students must borrow more than this from the government to cover other living costs, so at the end of their degree they may graduate with around £35,000 of debt.

Compared to university, not only is it free for apprentices to enroll in an apprenticeship, but you also earn an income while you work! Additionally, you must be paid for both your normal working hours and any apprenticeship training you undertake at your training provider throughout the week.

2. Incredible Range of Choice

There is a huge variety of apprenticeships offered by businesses of all sorts! You can now become an apprentice in sectors like agriculture, beauty, business and IT, engineering and so much more. So, regardless of what career you’re interested in, there will be an apprenticeship out there that’s perfect for you!

To start exploring, why not check out the range of apprenticeship standards we provide End-Point Assessment for?

3. Practical Work Experience

In an apprenticeship, most of your learning is done on the job. So, if you prefer to learn practically, then the style of training provided in an apprenticeship is perfect for you! Additionally, because you’ll be working in real work environments, you’ll learn loads of skills specific to your job and industry. This valuable work experience will put you a step above fresh graduates from university, as they often struggle to find work because of their lack of experience.

4. Great Option for School Leavers

The 2018 GCSE and A Level results were recently released and for 16-18 year olds leaving school, an apprenticeship is a great option to consider. Apprenticeships are designed to take individuals who have no experience in a role and fully train with the necessary skills and experience needed to excel in their job. This is perfect for school leavers who have little experience or training in their desired career, as they will gain all of this in their programme.

You also have a great chance of securing a job with your employer after your apprenticeship! 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their apprenticeship, with 71% of those staying with their apprentice employer after the end of their programme. In this tough job economy, apprenticeships are a great option to start off your career!

5. But Anyone Can Become An Apprentice!

Apprenticeships are a popular option for young people, but don’t be fooled! There is no age limit for an apprenticeship—anyone over the age of 16 not in full-time education can enroll. So, for those who are interested in changing their careers, or who’d like to move into a job that requires a different skill set, an apprenticeship is the perfect opportunity for a brand new start.

~

If you’d like to see where an apprenticeship can take you, check out our blog on 5 Celebrities Who Started Out As Apprentices.

To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

Hiring an apprentice brings a large range of benefits to your business while helping out the hundreds of thousands of people around the UK who are looking for work. Apprenticeships are designed to train individuals with little or no experience in a role into workers who have all the skills needed to excel in their job. As an employer, the time you spend investing in your apprentices will help them become excellent employees dedicated to improving your business.

Here are five fantastic reasons why you should hire an apprentice:

1. You Increase Your Productivity

Hiring an apprentice is a fantastic way for your business to grow its talent and develop a motivated and highly skilled workforce. Because apprentices earn while they learn, they’ll be trained in the latest industry knowledge while developing vital skills that’ll benefit your business, all the while receiving a wage.

An apprentice can also increase your company’s productivity! According to research conducted by the National Apprenticeship Service, employers who had an established apprenticeship programme reported that productivity in their workplace had improved by 76%, while 75% reported that hiring apprentices improved the quality of their product or service.

2. You Decrease Staff Turnover

Hiring an apprentice means training and nurturing them throughout their entire programme. Investing time and energy in apprentices like this can really secure their loyalty to your company and help decrease your staff turnover.

For example, Whitbread, the UK’s largest hotel, restaurant and coffee shop operator, focused on improving staff retention in their apprenticeship programme, as it was a business challenge for the organisation. Their findings were great: for entry level, back-office roles, turnover rates were 55%, while on the apprenticeship level this was reduced to 40%. Furthermore, when calculating retention rates, nearly three-quarters of their apprentices stayed with the company for more than 12 months, whereas only a quarter of non-apprentices did.

As a result of these numerous apprenticeship benefits, the company has set an ambitious target to recruit 1,500 more apprentices into the business over the next two years.

3. You Benefit From Fresh Thinking

Apprentices can bring new ideas into your organisation and develop many more as they gain experience in their role.

CBI Magazine asked a variety of businesses why they hired apprentices. Tricia Vincent, Training and Competency Manager at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, said that “Inquisitive and curious minds enable us as a business to progress, develop and innovate. Our apprentices complete some quite complex projects that push not only their newly acquired engineering skills, but also encourage their ability to problem solve. We empower them to make suggestions on improvements and present their ideas.”

At the Manchester Airport, Press Office Manager Seb Thompson also talked about the benefits he received from having a social media apprentice: “It has made a real difference and brought a new perspective that you don’t get through the normal recruitment process. They are totally immersed in the digital world. And as they learn and develop with their qualification we have seen them bring in a wealth of innovative ideas and trends so the whole team actually ends up learning something new.”

4. You Contribute To Your Community

Hiring apprentices ensures that your business gives back to the local community by helping combat youth unemployment in your area. By doing this, you’ll help create a skilled workforce that’ll drive your company forward and enhance your organisation’s image in the process.

According to research conducted by the Centre for Business and Economics Research in 2015, offering apprenticeships was perceived by two-thirds of the public as contributing to society and providing opportunities for young people. As a result, five million consumers are more likely to buy from an apprentice employer and one in four consumers would even pay more for goods and services from companies that employ apprentices.

5. You Use Your Apprenticeship Levy Contribution

If your business has a payroll of £3 million or more, then you must pay the apprenticeship levy whether you employ an apprentice or not. This levy is charged at a rate of 0.5% of your company’s pay bill, and as an employer, you’ll be given 18 months to spend each payment.

So why not use it? By hiring apprentices, you can ensure that your levy doesn’t go to waste and spend that money on attracting great young talent and developing your staff to benefit your business in the long run.

A win-win all around!

~

And there you have it — five great reasons why your company should hire an apprentice! 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 TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

TQUK EPA was the first End-Point Assessment Organisation to pass apprentices on three new standards, including the Adult Care Worker, Commis Chef and Hospitality Team Member standards.

Now, we’ve done it a fourth time.

In partnership with Creative Support, TQUK EPA is proud to announce that we’ve passed the first apprentice on the Lead Adult Care Worker Standard!

Lee Wild became the first apprentice to be passed on the Lead Adult Care Worker standard on the 1st August 2018. She received a Merit overall for her hard work, and both TQUK and Creative Support are delighted with the results.

TQUK EPA and Creative Support have worked together to pass apprentices in a variety of standards. We passed the very first apprentice, Sona Peskin, and the first apprentice in the UK to receive a Distinction, Joseph Bailey, on the Adult Care Worker standard.

The Lead Adult Care Worker standard is the next level up from the Adult Care Worker standard. Lead Adult Care Workers help care for adults with support needs so that they can achieve their personal goals and live as independently as possible. They are also expected to provide frontline leadership and guidance to other care workers.

Committed and Hard-Working

Everyone working with Lee was impressed with the hard work and commitment she displayed throughout the programme.

Her On Programme Assessor, Miltos Baralos, said:

It was clear throughout her apprenticeship that Lee had the experience and knowledge needed to carry out her duties. We worked together—she showed interest in developing her knowledge and I supported her to achieve this. We had effective communication and regular contact. During the face to face meetings, we had Professional Discussions on different subjects for her qualification and Lee found this very helpful.

After she completed her mock Multiple Choice Test, I contacted Lee and we went through her results together. I also discussed with her, in more detail, the components she would need to be aware of during her Professional Discussion, which was the concluding assessment element to her End-Point Assessment.

Before Lee’s EPA meeting with her End-Point Assessor, I was contacted by TQUK to discuss the assessment arrangements. It was good for me to be contacted by the End-Point Assessor and the EPA Coordinator, as it felt very personal and helpful. I was happy with the approach given by TQUK, as they gave prompt feedback on the apprentice’s assessment outcomes, which was very important.”

Janet Glentworth, the Vocational Centre Manager for Creative Support, had this to say:

Creative Support are proud to train the first Lead Adult Care Worker apprentice. It was tough at times, as the standard was new to us all, but Lee and her assessor were willing to take the challenge on board, and this has resulted in Lee achieving a Merit. Lee and her assessor also commented on how much the apprenticeship training helped her develop a more rounded approach as a learner than only undertaking a diploma in Health and Social Care.

Receiving the End-Point Assessment through TQUK has also affirmed that Lee has met the national standard through their rigorous assessment. This has resulted in Creative Support achieving another first with TQUK.”

Kelle McQuade, Head of EPAO at TQUK, also chimed in with her thoughts:

We’re very excited that we’ve completed Lee as the first Lead Adult Care Worker Apprentice in the UK. Having now been the first EPAO to complete apprentices on four new standards, we’re really starting to flourish as an EPAO. Our organisation grows every day and we consistently keep adding new standards to our EPA offerings.

“We’ve worked with Creative Support in the past and have always been really pleased with the care and support they’ve provided their apprentices. This case has been no different—Creative Support have provided Lee with fantastic help from the very beginning and everyone involved in her programme, Miltos included, should be really proud of her achievement.

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to Lee and all the staff at Creative Support who’ve helped her on her journey. You should all be proud of yourselves! Here’s to TQUK and Creative Support achieving more firsts in the future!”

If you’d like to see the other apprenticeship standards we deliver End-Point Assessments for, then click here. To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

With the 2018 GCSE and A Level results released, young people around the UK are planning their futures and deciding what path to take. For those still deciding, training as an apprentice is the perfect way to earn while you learn and gain the necessary skills needed to succeed in your chosen career path.

To see where an apprenticeship can take you, you only need to switch on your TV! Yes, you may be surprised to find that there are many successful celebrities out there who started out as apprentices and who owe their great success to their education.

Here are five celebrities who started out as apprentices and later went on to achieve global fame:

1. Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver.
Photography by Scandic Hotels, distributed under a CC by 3.0 license

You’ll know Jamie Oliver as a top celebrity chef and franchise restaurateur, but he had humble beginnings. Oliver left school at 16 with two GCSEs in Art and Geology and began his culinary career by enrolling in a home economics apprenticeship at Westminster College. His apprenticeship placements led him to work in restaurants across London and this taught him all the ins and outs of gastronomy.

Because of his success, Oliver is a fierce advocate of apprenticeships. His first restaurant, Fifteen, was a project to bring unemployed youths into the restaurant industry. Some of them have now become Michelin Star chefs!

2. Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen.
Photography by Gage Skidmore, distributed under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

You’ll know Sir Ian McKellen from the iconic characters he plays on the big screen such as Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Magneto from the X-Men franchise, but he started off as an apprentice actor studying at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry for three years. Choosing the apprenticeship route instead of going to Drama School, McKellen benefitted from the work-based learning that still suits apprentices across the country. The apprenticeship gave him a solid foundation for his future acting roles and provided him with his first professional acting role in a play called A Man for All Seasons.

3. Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay.

You’ll know him from his restaurants across the globe and shows like Kitchen Nightmares, but Gordon Ramsay started off as a hotel management apprentice at North Oxfordshire Technical College. After that, he spent years learning the restaurant trade while working in various establishments. He’s now one of the most famous chefs in the world.

4. Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney.
Original author Jaguar MENA, altered by Blackcat and distributed under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Stella McCartney is a world-renowned fashion designer and daughter of Sir Paul McCartney. McCartney had an eye for fashion from a young age and had designed her first jacket by the age of 13. Later on, her Tailoring Apprenticeship with Edward Sexton at Savile Row Tailors helped develop her skills and taught her more about the craft of tailoring. She’s come a long way since then—her fashion empire is estimated to be worth £101 million and she even designed Team GB’s outfits for the London 2012 Olympics.

5. Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson.
By author Andrea Sartorati, distributed under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Sir Alex Ferguson managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013 and is considered to be one of the most successful football managers of all time. But he didn’t start out working in the sport! Ferguson began his working life as an apprentice toolmaker at the Govan shipyards in Glasgow and played football in his free time. Although he ended up pursuing the sport, Ferguson learned about hard work through his apprenticeship. He also developed into a natural leader in the shipyards and used those skills to later manage Manchester United.

~

And there you have it! Enrolling in an apprenticeship can start your working life off with a bang. The skills you learn can take you anywhere you’d like to go! If you’d like to see how an apprenticeship can improve your career prospects, click here.

To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

Levi is our new Exams Officer who joined TQUK back in mid-July. She previously worked in the marking department at AQA, but years before that she completed a hairdressing apprenticeship on the old frameworks system.

So we thought we’d sit down with her to talk more about her experience and how it compares to the new End-Point Assessment system.

Here are the results!

~

What apprenticeship did you take?

I completed an NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing six years ago, in 2012.

What was your experience like during the apprenticeship?

It was really useful. I learned a lot of practical skills and knowledge vital for the hairdressing industry. For the majority of the 12-month apprenticeship, I’d work 5 days a week at a salon. Then, once every fortnight, I’d go to my college to study theory and do more training. I completed another hairdressing course prior to this, but the apprenticeship really honed all my hairdressing skills so by the end of it I was confident in colouring, cutting and styling hair, and also dealing with clients.

Did you feel like you were properly prepared for working in that sector?

Yes definitely! The invaluable thing about apprenticeships is that you’re employed and working while you train. This means that you’ve already learned all the skills you need for your job, so you know exactly what to do once you’re qualified. Also, if you’ve done well in your programme, your employer is likely to offer you a job at the end of it! So there’s a good chance you’ll secure a job after your training, which is different to pursuing a degree in higher education where you have to find a job after you’ve graduated.

Once you receive your qualification, you also have other options. My employer offered me a job at the end of my apprenticeship, but I chose to become a freelance hairdresser instead. I also knew people who became self-employed and rented a chair in a salon to use with their own clients.

What do you think of apprenticeships as a form of education?

I think apprenticeships suit people differently depending on their learning style. If you prefer to learn practically like I do, with only a little classroom studying involved, then apprenticeships are perfect. But if you want to go down a more academic route, then pursuing higher education is a better option.

I think apprenticeships have been stigmatised a lot in the past. They weren’t viewed as an equal form of education to programmes in higher education, such as A levels or Bachelor degrees. It’s quite unfair because thinking of higher education as a more ‘valid’ form of education doesn’t take into account that people learn differently.

However, I think the view around apprenticeships is changing. There’s now more people who view further education and higher education on an equal level. I think a large part of that is because there’s a much larger range of apprenticeships available now than there were before. There are still apprenticeships in sectors such as hairdressing and hospitality, but now you’ve got apprenticeships in business, science and engineering. That means that, if someone wants to go into business, they can choose between university or an apprenticeship depending on which they’d enjoy more, which is great!

How were you assessed on the Frameworks system?

I was assessed continually throughout my programme. I had different units that focused on different aspects of hairdressing, such as styling hair, basic cutting techniques and washing hair. I’d be trained in these units, then at the end I was assessed with a short online or paper test. I also needed to compile a portfolio for each unit I completed and submit it at the end of the apprenticeship.

What do you think of the new End-Point Assessment compared to the Frameworks style of continual assessment?

I think continual assessment has its strengths, as it helped my employer and training provider see that I had the correct hairdressing skills and knowledge from one month to the next. But I think the End-Point Assessment is a better way to assess an apprentice’s skills. First of all, employers effectively write the standard. Major employers in each industry are brought together to form groups called trailblazers. These trailblazers outline all the knowledge, skills and behaviours which are required and assessed within the EPA. This means that apprentices are learning the exact skills and knowledge needed to be fully competent in their jobs. It also means that there’s less disconnect between employers and training providers, as employers are more involved in writing the apprenticeship standard. They now know that apprentices are learning everything they’re meant to at their training providers.

I also think that having a major assessment at the end allows apprentices to purely focus on learning and training for the length of their programme. Instead of having to worry about constant assessments, they can now spend their time learning the necessary skills and knowledge for their role. I also think having the assessments at the end encourages apprentices to spend significant time preparing for their EPA, which will help them achieve a higher mark.

I’ve got a friend who recently completed her End-Point Assessment on the new standard. She said that she was nervous at first, but ultimately went into it confidently, and saw it as a chance to show her assessor everything she had learned. I think the EPA should give apprentices a sense of validation in this regard. If you prepare and work hard, just like my friend, you should come away thinking “oh, I’ve actually learned quite a bit!” and feel proud of themselves.

Thank you very much for your time!

No worries!

~

We hope you enjoyed the interview! If you’re interested in learning more about the End-Point Assessments we provide, you can find them all here. To keep up to date with the latest news from TQUK EPA, return to our blog or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

See you around The Hive!

How TQUK Can Help You

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.

Bee

Latest From the Hive Read All >

A View From the Inside: Kelle McQuade, Head of EPAO, on the Ins and Outs of EPA Read More >

A Sneak Peek: 5 New Standards on the Horizon Read More >