The Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service celebrated passing the 500-mark of apprentices completing end-point assessment on the new English apprenticeship standards at a special event at the House of Lords on 30 October 2018.

A list of senior stakeholders attended the event, including representatives from the houses of Parliament, the Institute for Apprenticeships, industry regulators, unions and professional bodies. They joined employers from across the water, gas, power and waste management utilities, along with their main delivery partners in the supply chain.

Also in attendance were representatives of the apprentices who have passed the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service’s rigorous end-point assessment. These included Balfour Beatty, E.ON, Morrison Utility Services, National Grid, Northern Powergrid, ScottishPower, Severn Trent Water, Siemens, SSE, UK Power Networks and United Utilities.

The 500th apprentice to complete end-point assessment was Jack Steel, who having completed his apprenticeship is now a First Call Operative for major gas company Cadent. First an aspiring footballer and Higher Education student, Jack changed his career path and applied for an apprenticeship believing that learning and earning on the job was a better fit for him. 

Jack, who addressed the invited audience, commented: I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone. It’s a great way to learn a job and get paid while you’re doing it. The apprenticeship scheme has really boosted my confidence and self-belief. A few years ago I would never have pictured myself speaking at an event at the House of Lords.”

Cadent’s Chief Executive, Chris Train, added: Apprenticeships are the lifeblood of our business. They help provide us with the highly skilled workforce so vital to our role in delivering gas safely and efficiently to 11 million homes and businesses. The quality of our apprenticeships is important to us and we are recognised externally for the calibre of our training.  

We have been the first company in England to go through the gas network craftsperson end-point assessment. It has been a tremendous collaborative effort between Cadent and the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service to develop an assessment that is more stringent and which sets clear standards for what apprentices will learn and how that will be assessed.

We are very proud of Jack and his fellow apprentices. It is great that their achievements are being celebrated at such a prestigious event.

Sir Gerry Berragan, Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships, who also spoke at the event, said:

“I was delighted to celebrate this landmark achievement, in such prestigious surroundings, with the apprentices and many other people who’ve helped them along their path to success.

Their sector deserves recognition because it is one of the most trailblazing of all those involved with developing new apprenticeships.

The gas network craftsperson level three apprenticeship was one of the first eight standards approved for delivery back in 2015, and it had the first apprentices to complete end-point assessments (EPAs).

There are now over 600 apprentices who have completed from the energy and utilities sector, out of just over 4,000 who have passed EPAs across all sectors. This shows how quickly they were off the mark, with adopting and adapting to the new wave of apprenticeships. They have been exemplary.”

Energy & Utility Skills Group Chief Executive Nick Ellins commented, “This event in Parliament was created to enable our main sector stakeholders to meet the talent that is emerging under the new apprenticeship reforms. It enabled us to hear directly from the utility employers and their apprentices on their actual experience of learning under the new Standards and being rigorously end point assessed via the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service. By deploying a sectoral approach that is centred in the workplace demands of the employers, the audience witnessed the first 500 high quality apprentices to move into vital roles within the UK workforce, and witnessed the work at the cutting edge of implementing these reforms being publicly recognised. The utility sector employers, and the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service end-point assessment body, were rightly recognised as being the “trailblazer of trailblazers” and praised for directly helping UK plc to address its skills shortages.”

Dr Jacqueline Hall, Associate Director of the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service, said: “This event marks another success story, not only for the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service, but for our sector and every apprentice who has completed an apprenticeship. We would like to applaud the hard work and dedication of the employers and providers that have played a significant part in these 500 success stories.”

As of today, 638 apprentices have passed the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service’s End-point assessment. The Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service provides end-point assessment on 10 English Apprenticeship Standards. 

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