“Distinction” success in brand new assessment process

Leon Horn achieved a “Distinction” in all areas of his Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship through Skills Group, while working at Plymouth Community Homes.

The End Point Assessment (EPA) is part of the new Apprenticeship Standard that is being rolled out nationally, replacing Apprenticeship Frameworks. The apprenticeship reforms aim to provide a more thorough and practical foundation to the profession, with emphasis on equipping learners with the core knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to progress and thrive throughout their career.

As part of the Level 2 Customer Service EPA, Leon had to complete an Apprentice Showcase, Observation and a Professional Discussion, demonstrating excellent understanding in all three areas to achieve the Distinction mark from awarding body Pearsons. For the Showcase, Leon had to prepare a summative portfolio highlighting how he had identified and applied the required core skills in his everyday work. For the Observation, Leon was assessed how he interacted with customers and responded to their needs, and in the Professional Discussion, Leon underwent a structured conversation with the independent end-point assessor, designed to test his knowledge and understanding of specific areas of the apprenticeship. Leon will now be remaining at Plymouth Community Homes as a permanent member of staff.

Ryan Coles, Contact Centre Experience Manager at Plymouth Community Homes comments, “I have worked with Leon over the past fourteen months, and he is a very knowledgeable and valuable team member. The qualification recognises the skills he has developed throughout his apprenticeship and has also enabled him to be offered a full time place with us. Leon is a great example to other learners, highlighting what can be achieved by completing an apprenticeship.”

Leon Horn said: “I am delighted by the EPA result and also the offer of a permanent positon. I would like to thank Plymouth Community Homes for this opportunity and Skills Group for its support throughout my apprenticeship.”

Sharon Chaffe, Managing Director at Skills Group comments, “We are very proud of Leon for his hard work. The EPA is a new and rigorous assessment process and therefore the Distinction result is a credit to his commitment, as well as to our dedicated trainers and Plymouth Community Homes whom we have a long established relationship with. Our apprenticeships provide a brilliant platform to start a career, providing on-the-job training with top local employers and complemented by training in our state-of-the-art facilities. We look forward to Leon’s progress going forward.”

**Pictured: Leon Horn (centre) with Ryan Coles, Contact Centre Experience Manager at Plymouth Community Homes, and Angie Edwards-Jones, Head of Customer Experience at Plymouth Community Homes

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School