First in the Country for 100% Success in Apprenticeship EPAs - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) is spearheading the Civil Engineering trade Apprenticeships end-point assessment (EPA) agenda, being the first in the country to complete EPAs in Formwork and in Steel Fixing.

Paramount to the achievement of an Apprenticeship, the EPA tests the knowledge, skills and behaviours that an apprentice has gained during their training. Unique to each Apprenticeship standard, the EPA demonstrates the competence of an apprentice in their role – which is crucial for current and future employers.

This outstanding achievement of being the first provider in the country to complete these EPAs, means all of BTC’s Formwork and Steel Fixing apprentices who have undertaken the EPA have achieved a 100% success rate! The Formwork apprentices are employed by Bylor, and the Steel Fixing apprentices (men and women) employed by Laing O’Rourke, Bylor, and Berkeley Homes.

These Apprenticeships have been delivered at BTC’s state-of-the-art Construction Skills and Innovation Centre (CSIC) in Cannington – a realistic working environment, including a Steel Fixing Arena – which is really leading the field. CSIC’s team are industry professional trainers and assessors, who are passionate about delivering the very best training, demonstrated by their commitment to working with industry employers, professional organisations, and awarding bodies to achieve the best possible outcomes for learners and employers.

BTC has worked with End-Point Assessment Organisations NOCN for Steel Fixing and QFI for Formwork, and Qualifications for Industry (QFI) and major construction supplier Mabey to facilitate the first ever Formwork EPAs. “Mabey have provided all of the equipment needed for the Formwork practical EPA, free of charge”, says BTC Senior Specialist Trainer, Adam Shaw. “They have been a massive support in this EPA process.”

The Steel Fixing Arena at CSIC consists of a series of concrete platform infrastructures, where training is adapted to represent typical workplace scenarios, providing bespoke training in steel fixing and formwork operations – critical skills for nuclear new build. Candidates can construct steel cages to form beams, walls, columns and suspended slabs, enabling steel fixing training to be delivered via large-scale, practical team-based tasks. Learners capture ‘live’ assessment evidence by means of helmet-mounted ‘Go-Pro’ cameras as they complete each task. The success of the work of the apprentices and the CSIC team, has seen a number of apprentices progress on to supervisory and management positions at Hinkley Point C.

The Construction Skills and Innovation Centre delivers a full range of accredited Civil Engineering qualifications, from pre-employment training and Apprenticeships to fast-track NVQs – being the only facility in the UK to offer experienced Steel Fixers a fast-track NVQ Level 2 in just two days!

In response to demand from major construction companies who require Steel Fixers and Formworkers to have CSCS cards to operate on-site, CSIC is also able to deliver a range of courses so that workers can prove their competence, which is so valuable to these employers.

This EPA achievement demonstrates how BTC works with employers, industry specialists, community organisations and awarding bodies to develop and deliver innovative, accredited training and Apprenticeship programmes that fully address the theoretical knowledge, practical skills and industry behaviours that combine to create professional, work-ready individuals.

BTC has led the way in this field, creating and developing a world class, innovative and exemplary model of employer engagement that supports and enriches the education, employability and welfare of current and future generations.

For more information about training and Apprenticeships at Bridgwater & Taunton College, email info@btc.ac.uk

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