• PGL Training are a specialist training provider based in Exeter offering a range of courses and apprenticeship training.

    This year they have guided their first group of apprentices through their Plumbing end-point assessment, with all of them passing first time.

    We spoke to Dean Matthews, Apprenticeships Manager at PGL, on how his team supported his first cohort of apprentices over the last two years and what success means to them.

    “We started our first group of apprentices back in April 2019 and obviously given the pandemic what an incredible challenge and journey this has been” says Matthews.

    “At the beginning of the first lockdown we shifted our delivery online.  It felt like a gamble, but both the delivery staff and apprentices responded brilliantly”.

    The commitment the group of apprentices showed was a standout for Matthews, with example of some apprentices taking exams at 7pm as they prepared for their final assessments.  Matthews continues – “It just shows how much it meant to them, to get that EPA result and ticket to the next stage of their learning and career”.

    End-point assessments for Plumbing are relatively new for all parties including the provider, apprentice and end-point awarding organisation. In fact, PGL are one of the first organisations to see their apprentices through the process.  

    “We developed a great working relationship with both our apprentices and City & Guilds. The City & Guilds Technical Advisor was always on hand to help us and we used the digital resources and packs City & Guilds have to guide us through.” Matthews said.

    The team at PGL were fully committed to supporting their apprentices and matched the efforts that their learners were making, occasionally working on weekends at times to ensure we the best result for the learner. “We certainly feel that we have shared values and beliefs as City & Guilds – specifically around that send of responsibility to ensure the learner is in the best possible position to pass first time.”

    The process for end-point assessment can be a challenge especially with the set up to enable apprentices to feel relaxed and confident to show their best work.  “We were really happy with the end-point assessment process. It was seamless and this was a real credit to City & Guilds”.

    Having achieved success with the first group of apprentices Matthews feels more confident for the next batch of learners coming through in 2022.   Matthews concludes; “We can build on all of that experience and knowledge, and lessons learned, to inform how we approach the next set of EPAs.”

    The employer, Fords South West, were delighted with the results. Aaron Path commented; ‘It was great news to hear all our Apprentices passed the End Point Assessments. The commitment from them was testament to them and our long term relationship with PGL Training is pivotal in our passion for training Apprentices of the future.’