Adapting to the new normal - supporting apprentices through COVID-19
COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on education in recent months. With apprenticeships starting to experience a national decline, some organisations have managed to buck the trend by enrolling and inducting learners remotely so they can begin their learning journey.
EPA Plus has been responding quickly to the changing situation presented by COVID-19 to meet the needs of providers, employers and apprentices, and we’d like to share the results of this.
Keeping end-point assessment on track
To keep end-point assessment accessible and on track, we’ve proactively worked with our regulators to enable flexibilities and expanded our digital solutions introducing proctoring (remote invigilation) so that all assessments can take place remotely.
Over the last three months, we’ve undertaken over 150 proctored assessments and received extremely positive feedback on this in a recent survey. 97% of customers said they would continue to use proctoring after lockdown and almost 80% rated their apprentices’ experience four or five out of five. One of our customers commented that “the proctoring process has allowed us to continue during lockdown. The support we have received has been excellent and the assessor was very professional and understanding.”
Flexible and supportive approach
We recognised the financial impact COVID-19 has had on many organisations and therefore we reduced our prices where flexibilities have been applied and extended our payment terms to support customers through this uncertain time.
Although we’re working remotely, our customer service still remains first class. We’ve been getting in touch with our customers with apprentices approaching EPA to offer our support.
Not only have we been sharing clear guidance and updates on EPA flexibilities and the rapidly changing situation as soon as we have it, we’ve been joined by over 1,000 attendees at our weekly check-in webinars. One of customers stated “the check in webinars are very relevant and I really enjoy them. I feel that the information provided is clear and delivered in an easy to understand manner.”
What does it mean for the future?
We welcome the Government’s recent announcement that they will be giving businesses £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25, on top of the existing £1,000 payment provided to 16-18 year olds apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan. The support for apprentices to start their apprenticeship remotely is undoubtedly needed now more than ever and at EPA Plus, we’re looking forward to continuing to play our part on the road to recovery.
For further information on our EPA standards visit our end-point assessment webpage.
Latest News from
Message from Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills18/09/2020 10:33:00
Message from Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills 17 September 2020.
5 things that make a brilliant 16-19 employability programme17/09/2020 16:15:00
Hear from NCFE’s Operations Director for Technical Education, Zac Aldridge as he discusses his top tips for your employability programmes.
Speed read: Top 5 takeaways from “Taking decisive action on youth employment”16/09/2020 16:38:00
NCFE Chief Executive Officer, David Gallagher and Strategic Advisor to NCFE’s Board, Matt Hamnett, discussing why we are taking decisive action on youth employment through our new initiative.
Development success for customer service apprentice08/09/2020 09:15:00
Fiona Podolski has successfully completed her end-point assessment for the Level 2 customer service practitioner apprenticeship standard, and achieved a distinction. Fiona works at Hingham Library and since undertaking her apprenticeship she has developed her skills and grown in confidence.
Why choose NCFE for your school?04/09/2020 11:15:00
NCFE believes that education isn’t ‘one size fits all’. We understand that your learners are unique, and your curriculum should be too!
The long road ahead - taking decisive action on youth employment03/09/2020 09:10:00
As we begin to emerge from the social and economic chrysalis of lockdown, it is clear that the road to recovery will be long and arduous. There is good reason to believe that, given the crutch of the furlough scheme through the spring and summer, we have not yet seen the full impact the pandemic will have on employment levels.
HR professional turned teacher scoops Teacher of the Year accolade13/08/2020 16:15:00
Our Teacher/Tutor of the Year Aspiration Award recognises educators who have gone over and above to support their learners.
How to tender for government contracts part 3: improving tender success12/08/2020 16:15:00
In my final blog, I want to focus on how you can improve your tenders and increase your chance of winning contracts.