escalla's Christmas Newsletter 2021

For Apprentices and Employers

Welcome Back to the Winter Edition of our escalla Newsletter 

It has been a very busy quarter! We've introduced new programmes, managed the EPA changes, and updated our programmes to meet the new standards for existing qualifications. We will tell you how some of the changes work later in the newsletter.

We are pleased to welcome Dan to the team as our new Digital Support Technician apprentice, and I am sure you will have already seen some e-mails from him. Dan has been working on the apprentice and employer questionnaires so if you haven't been able to complete it yet, please do, as it really gives us an opportunity to review our performance.

The office is fully open, and it has been fantastic seeing the apprentices back in the training room. Teddy is so happy with the extra tummy rubs!

You'll be pleased to know that we are resuming our employer forums and induction mornings Joe has been in touch about the induction and if you would like to get involved in the forums, please get let us know. They are a great way to share ideas and best practice!

As we start winding down for the festive break, we wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!


Employer's VS Apprentice: Are you ready to take the challenge? 

Test your digital skills in our two x 5 min Employer vs Apprentice quizzes.

They're just a bit of fun or are they? 😀

Join us and Cheshire Police at 'Think Car' 2022

Think Car

Road users who commit one of the Fatal Five offences are far more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than those who do not.

On 12th January 2022, we will be joined by Cheshire Police, who will deliver an interactive session to our apprentices on the Fatal Five and the prevention of accidents on our roads.

We will also be joined by Dean Wilson who donated his son’s car to Cheshire Police to help them raise awareness of the Fatal Five. Dean’s son lost control of his car on a rural A-road, colliding with a tree. The impact killed him. Driving alone, he was on his way home. The young driver was just coming up to his 22nd birthday and was found to be one and a half times over the alcohol limit. The speed of the vehicle at impact was estimated to be only 43mph in a 60mph speed limit.

This vehicle provides a great opportunity to show people of all age groups just how little alcohol it can take to put someone over the limit. The courage and bravery of Dean and his family can only be admired. Although it can be a very emotional experience, all our apprentices that have taken part in the session before have given overwhelmingly positive feedback.

This session is open to all our apprentices, whether they are at the academy or not that week. Please respond to the email invite you have been sent, so we know who to expect on the day.

Looking for new apprentices? Hire before 31 January 2022!

The £4,000 incentive for hiring new apprentices is coming to an end on 31 January 2022, so if you're looking for a new apprentice or want to move someone finishing the Fastrack scheme to an apprenticeship, there is no time like the present!

This month, we've been busy filling lots of new vacancies and have already confirmed 12 starts for 2022 with Cleric Computers, Thales, Redeye and Level up networks offering starts to candidates.

TLD Pathology in London are looking for an ICT apprentice and the new Levelup Networks apprentice will join the Thales cohort.

Hire an Apprentice

David Eaton speaks about his experience as an escalla apprentice!



"I started out my career as a Level 3 IT Technician Apprentice with escalla Training Academy and ever since I have had a passion for all things tech. I then moved onto Level 4 Network Engineer which opened my eyes to all the possibilities that the IT industry has to offer. After completing this, I moved onto my most recent qualification of Level 4 Cyber Security Technologist which has paved the way into a new role as an Information Security Analyst.

In my cyber apprenticeship I was trained by Chester, who not only had a large amount of knowledge to pass onto me and a training style that fitted all apprentices but was always there when I was unsure or needed a little guidance, whether that be with my role, my course work, or the training weeks. No matter the query, Chester was there to support me all the way.

My apprenticeship not only gave me the knowledge to gain this qualification but also gave me the personal skills and confidence to tackle the ever-growing world we live in today.

I cannot recommend escalla Training Academy enough if you are looking for an apprenticeship to start your career with the correct and up to date knowledge. I would suggest speaking to the team if you are unsure how you want to start your career as they can provide you with quality guidance about whether an apprenticeship is right for you."

cyber security apprentice blue white 

Cyber Security Apprenticeship: What's changed?

The Level 4 standard for Cyber Security has gone through some changes during the last 12 months, allowing for new specialised pathways. These include:

Option 1 - Cyber Security Engineer

This is the most technology focused role and an apprentice’s role should include designing, building, and testing secure networks, as well as security products with a particular focus on security.

Option 2 – Cyber Risk Analyst

This role is focused on risk assessment, analysis, and risk mitigation. The role of this apprentice could also extend to supporting formal security governance, regulatory & compliance (GRC).

Option 3 – Cyber Security Defend and Respond

This is a more operationally focused role with duties that include configuring and operating secure systems to prevent security breaches, or utilising monitoring systems to detect and respond to security breaches.

Core Topics and Portfolio

Irrespective of the course option chosen, the apprentice will need to provide evidence of the following core topics which will be present in the apprentice’s portfolio of work:

▪ Section 1: Cyber security concepts and its importance to business and society
▪ Section 2: Rationale for security objectives
▪ Section 3: Ethical principles, codes of practice, law & regulation
▪ Section 4: Preventing security breaches & continuous improvement
▪ Section 5: Following organisations policies & processes
▪ Section 6: Operation of security management systems & incident response

When the apprentice has completed evidencing the competencies set out by their pathway, the apprentice will need to undergo an End Point Assessment (EPA), of which the project’s subject, title and scope will be agreed between the employer and the EPA Organisation (EPAO).


How the cyber apprenticeship is assessed:

1 Professional Discussion

Underpinned by the apprentice’s portfolio work (Fail, Pass, Distinction). This will be the portfolio of evidence the apprentice will be building over the duration of the course.

2 A Scenario Demonstration with Questioning (Fail, Pass, Distinction)

Apprentices will need to complete four scenarios that cover a range of skills. Notably new to the course is a software programme or script that the apprentice must write to achieve the requirements set out by the EPA. Programming and/or scripting has now become a part of the core knowledge apprentices need to know.

3 A Project Report (Fail, Pass, Distinction)

This is a work-based project that must be agreed between the employer and the EPAO. This project should support the needs of the business, have relevance to the apprentices’ role, and allow relevant competencies to be demonstrated. These competencies will be directly mapped to the pathway option chosen, and not the core competencies.

4 Knowledge Test (Fail, Pass)

A multiple-choice test with questions generated from a bank of questions. The apprentice will be given an hour to complete but will be provided with plenty of sample tests to utilise prior to the examination.

As you may have noticed, there is no longer a Merit grade attainable on an individual assessment method, but instead, the Merit is accredited when an equal combination of Pass and Distinctions are achieved.

Have feedback? We would love to hear your thoughts!

We love to hear your thoughts about your experience, whether you are an apprentice or an employer we are working with. Every bit of feedback is valuable for the escalla team. Thanks in advance for taking the time to review escalla, we hope your experience has been nothing but positive!

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and New Year!