Our EPA team is constantly working hard to add to the list of apprenticeship standards we deliver End-Point Assessment for. As a result, we’re in the works to deliver EPA for five more standards in the very near future!

Here’s a sneak peek of all the standards to come:

Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistants can work with students across all ages in Primary, Special and Secondary education, including those who have special educational needs or emotional vulnerabilities. Their primary role is to support their class teacher and enhance their pupils’ learning by ensuring that they understand the work set, know their learning objectives and stay on task in order to make sufficient progress.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn key skills such as how to support their pupils towards independent learning, how to implement effective behavior management strategies and how to work closely with teachers to ensure that their own contributions align with the teaching objectives.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship include:

  • Practical Observation with a Question & Answer session
  • Professional Discussion with a Portfolio of Evidence included

Successful apprentices can progress into a number of career paths in the Educational sector such as Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Assistant Teacher and Teacher.

IT Technical Salesperson

An IT Technical Salesperson specialises in selling the technical products and services of a company, such as data storage and cloud services. They must maintain good relationships with existing clients and approach potential customers with the aim of winning new business. They should also maintain a good understanding of existing and new technologies that are emerging.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will gain knowledge of the basic elements of computer systems, learn how to negotiate and close sales and acquire a thorough understanding of the business products they are selling.

The End-Point Assessment components for the IT Technical Salesperson Apprenticeship include:

  • Summative Portfolio
  • Synoptic Project
  • Employer Reference
  • Interview

Those who are successful in completing their apprenticeship are eligible to apply for registration onto the Register of IT Technicians.

Associate Project Manager

Associate Project Managers help manage business projects by using their resources and management skills. They will know what needs to be achieved, how it will be achieved, how long it will take, how much it will cost and will work with the project team to achieve the required outcomes.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn valuable skills such as how to develop project budgets, how to prepare and maintain project schedules and how to respond to any project issues.

The End-Point Assessment components for the Associate Project Manager apprenticeship include:

  • Presentation supported by a Portfolio of Evidence
  • Professional Discussion supported by the same Portfolio of Evidence

On starting the apprenticeship, apprentices can become student members of the Association for Project Management (APM). After they complete their apprenticeship successfully, they can then become eligible for associate membership. Full membership can later be attained through further experience and professional development.

Learning and Development Practitioner

Learning and Development (L&D) Practitioners are responsible for identifying learning and training needs within a business and designing training programmes to improve their organisation.

In this apprenticeship, apprentices will learn valuable skills such as how to identify and analyse learning needs, how to design training resources to meet these needs and how to monitor a learner’s progress to deliver motivational and developmental feedback.

The End-Point Assessment components for the L&D Practitioner Apprenticeship include:

  • Work Based Project and Professional Discussion
  • Presentation based on a Learning Journal

Apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship are eligible to apply for Associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) or any other professional body that recognizes this apprenticeship within its membership criteria.

Learning and Development Consultant / Business Partner

Learning and Development (L&D) Consultants are responsible for identifying areas of improvement in individuals, groups and organisations and finding appropriate learning and development solutions to improve their organisation. L&D Consultants must also measure the outcomes and return on investment of any learning interventions they implement. This role can exist in a range of organisations that span across the private, public and third sector.

In the apprenticeship, apprentices will learn a range of valuable skills including how to identify organisational skills gaps and risks, how to present a range of innovative solutions to fill these gaps and how to construct and manage an L&D project.

The End-Point Assessment components for the L&D Consultant Apprenticeship include:

  • Work Based Project with Professional Discussion
  • Presentation and Q&A based on a Learning Journal

Just as with the L&D Practitioner, apprentices who successfully complete their programme are eligible to apply for Associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) or any other professional body that recognizes this apprenticeship within its membership criteria.

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We hope you enjoyed that little taste of the new standards to come! If you’d like to see the existing range of apprenticeship standards we provide EPA for, 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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

It’s Filet Mignon Day, ladies and gentlemen!

Mhh, a whole day dedicated to this delicious cut of beef. Who could ask for more?

In assessing Commis Chef Apprentices, we see the care and dedication that goes into serving the finer cuts of meat like filet mignon. Commis chefs tend to be the most common starting position in many kitchens. They carry out basic tasks under the eye of a senior chef, and throughout their apprenticeship they’ll have all sorts of interactions with beef—identifying which cuts to use, prepping and seasoning the meat, storing different cuts in the appropriate manner and using correct knife skills to prepare the food.

So we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give them some help! Here’s our quick guide to a few of the most popular cuts of beef: where they come from and how you might want to cook them for delicious results!

The Magnificent Cow

Diagram of cow.

First, we start with the cow itself. Just as End-Point Assessments are made up of different components—judgement tests, culinary challenges and practical observations abound—so are cows made up of different parts. The diagram above is for your reference (we’re looking at you, apprentices!), as we’ll be talking about where the following cuts come from in the animal.

Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon.
Photography by Robspinella, distributed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

We begin, of course, with filet mignon. This piece of meat is a smaller cut of the fillet, which is taken from the tenderloin, also known as the short loin. This muscle is one of the least active on the cow, which makes its meat incredibly tender. The fillet is regarded as the king of all steaks, which explains why it comes with such a high price tag! If you can afford to dine on a filet mignon, then you’re clearly doing something right!

Apprentice cooking tip: A filet mignon should be cooked over an incredibly high heat as quickly as possible to avoid the meat drying out.

Brisket

Beef brisket roast.

The brisket comes from the chest area between the shoulders of a cow, which means that it does a lot of work in its lifetime. This cut has high amounts of fat and connective tissue, which adds a lot of flavor to the meat. The brisket is usually sold boned and rolled as a full joint, and needs to be slow-cooked to render all of its fat and connective tissue down.

Apprentice cooking tip: A brisket is traditionally slow-roasted in the oven until the meat falls apart and becomes beautifully tender, like the picture above. It can also be used in pit smoking, a popular American technique that creates smoked, barbequed briskets.

Sirloin

Sirloin Steak meal.

The sirloin is located just above the tenderloin, at the top of the loin in the diagram, and has a good balance of fat and tenderness. Sirloins are typically sold boned and rolled, ready for roasting whole, but are also cut and sold as steaks.

Apprentice cooking tip: The customer is always right, and they’ll have their own preference for how their sirloin steak is cooked. For your own reference, we suggest cooking this steak to at least a medium, as this gives the fat time to render down so it can cook in its own juices. Mhh.

Chuck Steak

Chuck steak stew.

Chuck comes from the area around the shoulders, which is a hard-working part of the cow. This means that chuck can turn out quite tough if it isn’t cooked correctly, but it also makes it one of the most economical cuts of beef out there.

Apprentice cooking tip: Chuck has a good amount of fat and tissue that needs to be broken down. This means that chuck is best used in stews, casseroles or pies, all of which are cooked for over an hour.

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We hope this guide helps all the Commis Chef Apprentices out there with your knowledge! If you’d like more help with your apprenticeship, then you can download our factsheet that’ll give you an overview of your programme, along with some very valuable tips for your End-Point Assessment.

If you’re an employer looking for an End-Point Assessment organisation, then find out more about the Commis Chef standard here.

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

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The Importance of HR

Every company has their employees, and HR professionals play an integral role in managing workers and upholding workplace culture. HR employees are responsible for a large range of tasks including recruiting new hires, maintaining benefits and payroll, mediating conflict and managing training and development. Effective HR management can create an inclusive and healthy working environment, and happy employees can lead to higher productivity and an increase in worker retention.

57% of businesses who invest in apprentices report that a high proportion later go into management positions within the same company. This means that apprentices are likely to remain working for the company they completed their programme with, saving them on training costs and valuable time recruiting an outside hire.

The HR Support Apprenticeship

Shaking hands.

Hiring an HR Support Apprentice will provide support to the HR department of any business, and will also teach the apprentice valuable skills relating to their HR role. HR Support Apprentices will help your business by:

  • Handling day to day queries from employees and providing HR advice;
  • Working on a range of HR processes such as recruitment, hiring, training, performance management and employee retention;
  • Keeping employee records using HR systems;
  • Providing relevant HR information to the business;
  • Providing advice to managers on a large range of HR issues in regards to company policy and current law, and giving guidance to prevent employment tribunals or legal risk to the business.

An HR Support apprenticeship will typically last for 18 – 24 months. Apprentices will develop vital skills through:

  • Delivering excellent customer service on a range of HR queries;
  • Developing communication and interpersonal skills through dealing with customers and colleagues;
  • Building strong work relationships and developing teamwork skills;
  • Developing problem-solving skills through actively listening and understanding the root causes of any problems before providing HR solutions.

The End-Point Assessment

Writing in a notebook.

The End-Point Assessment for an HR Support apprenticeship includes two components which are equally-weighted. These components are:

  • The Consultative Project
  • The Professional Discussion

The apprentice must pass each component in order to pass the apprenticeship. Here’s a table with further information about the weighting and pass marks:

Assessment Method
Weighting
Pass Mark
Distinction Mark
Consultative Project

50%

60-84 marks

85-100 marks

Professional Discussion 50% 60-84 marks

85-100 marks

The Consultative Project

Typing computer.

The Consultative Project is a 3000-word document that outlines how the apprentice has applied their knowledge and HR related skills on the job. The Project should describe a situation where the apprentice has successfully worked with a customer to deliver a specific piece(s) of HR advice or provide an HR solution(s) for them.

The content of this document should include:

  • The project objectives;
  • The scope of the work;
  • A description of the situation/problem/business need;
  • The methodology used;
  • The information gathered;
  • Any conclusions and recommendations;
  • Details of the implementation plan.

Examples of the Project might be:

  • Providing guidance to a manager or a team on a range of HR matters, including recruitment, retirement and more;
  • Taking a defined role in a larger project run by more senior members of the HR team;
  • Carrying out analysis of HR information and producing recommendations for action.

The Professional Discussion

Meeting at a table.

The Professional Discussion is conducted after the TQUK End-Point Assessor has reviewed and marked the Consultative Project. It focuses on testing the skills and behaviours outlined in the Standard, along with any knowledge and skills components that weren’t covered in the Consultative Project.

To ensure consistency, TQUK EPA will provide a bank of standard questions that the TQUK End-Point Assessor will use in the Professional Discussion. There will be 13-16 questions asked during the Discussion, each of which will focus on a single component of the knowledge, skills or behaviours listed in Appendix 1 of the End-Point Assessment plan. The Professional Discussion should last between 60 – 75 minutes.

After the Apprenticeship

Business man in a suit.

Once the apprentice has completed their apprenticeship, they can choose to develop into more advanced roles such as:

  • HR Consultant/Partner;
  • HR Manager;
  • Employee Relations Manager;
  • Training and Development Manager.

We hope this blog gave you some more insight into the HR Support Apprenticeship! TQUK EPA is dedicated to delivering quality assessments at a competitive price to ensure that employers receive confident, skilled workers at the end of their apprenticeship. When you work with TQUK EPA, everyone wins!

To keep up to date with the latest apprenticeships and end-point assessment news, return to TQUK EPA’s blog or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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Joseph Bailey was delighted to complete his Adult Care Worker apprenticeship in mid June at Creative Support. But on top of this achievement, he received another feather in his cap: Joseph was the first Adult Care Worker apprentice in the UK to receive a Distinction.

Joseph’s achievement is unique and impressive since he is one of a small minority of male apprentices in the care sector.

Both Creative Support and Training Qualifications UK were amazed with Joseph’s drive, expertise and confidence.

Continue reading “TQUK passes the first adult care worker apprentice in the UK to receive a Distinction”

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

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