Building new careers with apprenticeships at Calderdale College

Mason Whittel image 1Mason Whittel image 2
Congratulations to Calderdale College for supporting their first four Brick apprentices to succeed in their end-point assessment this spring.

We spoke to Stacie Ellis (EPA Co-ordinator) and Scarlett Rayner (Training Officer) at the college to learn about their cohort of apprentices and their learning experience.

The team at Calderdale supported four young apprentices from start to finish during a hugely challenging time with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sam Robinson, Henry Butterworth, Mason Whittel and Dan Brown enrolled on the new Brick apprenticeship standard in late 2019, however within months their learning was cut short by the pandemic and the lockdowns that were put into place.  

The College closed its doors in March 2020 and as the Bricklayer standard is a very practical and “hands on” standard their learning and development was hindered significantly.

Despite this setback Training Officer Scarlett Rayner worked with the group to build their knowledge via the digital learning platform “Learning Assistant” to fill knowledge gaps, alongside draft question papers and other digital learning resources. 

The apprentices felt left behind and disadvantaged due to the pandemic, and effectively lost six months of practical learning, but they were resilient and kept going. When the College did reopen periodically, the apprentices put in extra days of work to make up for the lost learning time.

Scarlett Rayner commented; “It was a very difficult period, but the apprentice’s resilience and dedication to learn was very impressive.  We are very proud to see them pass this important milestone and succeed in their apprenticeship.”

The collaborative relationship between the college, the employer and the EPAO is an important one to ensure the apprentice is on track and prepared for assessment.

Stacie Ellis said, “The team at City & Guilds have been very supportive, and EPA pro as a system has been a godsend for us. The assessment preparation resources on SmartScreen and EPA Pro have been great and the recent introduction of grade feedback has been very useful too”.

The cohort of four apprentices are now continuing their careers with a mix of local and national employers.

Kath Bradwell, Head of Apprenticeships at Calderdale College said; "This is an amazing result for all four Apprentices to achieve Distinction Grades for their End-Point Assessment. I am very proud of how everyone involved, apprentices, employers and the College team, pulled together with exceptional commitment and focus to achieve this.

Well done and a massive thank you to you all.”

Visit Calderdale College website to find out about Apprenticeships