escalla's Spring Newsletter 2022

For Apprentices and Employers

Welcome Back to the escalla Spring Newsletter

It has been a busy couple of months here at escalla and we have welcomed 3 new team members to the office in Crewe. Welcome to Ella, Paige and Lauren. Please feel free to pop in and say hello and have a coffee with us!

 All training is now being completed face to face and we are busy looking at our programmes and reviewing them. Emma will let you know about some of the changes later in the newsletter. We have also been looking at returning to face-to-face reviews and Emma and Chester will have been in contact with you to find  your preference. Where staff continue to work from home, we will continue to use DocuSign and Teams.

 As always, if you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, please let us know.

welcome back



New Year, New Induction

We have been busy updating our Induction Training for all apprentices. All new apprentices will find out more about the structure of their apprenticeship. 

They will learn how to:

- Use the online platforms they have access to

- Analyse what the key elements of a good report look like.

We hope this will enable our apprentices to feel confident in producing high quality reports for their End Point Assessment Portfolio.

 We are also updating our additional training package. These sessions are designed to help our apprentices learn more about the world they live in, and how to keep themselves and others safe. They help our apprentices to develop important life skills, that all employers value:

- Good communication

- Leadership

- Resilience

- Confidence

- Problem-solving

- Positivity

- Team work

- Critical thinking

- Negotiation skills.

 We have included an introduction into: Career Development, Anti-Radicalisation, Hate Crime, Health and Safety, Risk Assessment, Developing a Positive Mindset, Safeguarding, Sexual Consent and British Values into our initial induction programme.

 We will continue to run other sessions throughout the year.


An emotional and educational day with Cheshire Police

 In the past couple of months, our apprentices have taken part in some amazing training sessions:

Cheshire Police visited the academy in January with the THINK car, and delivered the Fatal 5 training.

The session showed the apprentices the consequences of:

- Careless driving

- Drink and drug driving

- Not wearing a seatbelt

- Using a mobile phone and speeding.

We were also joined by Dean Wilson who donated his son’s car to Cheshire Police to help them raise awareness of the Fatal 5. 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. 

Dean’s input received incredibly positive feedback from all of the apprentices. It was a very emotional session, and Dean was extremely brave talking to us all so openly. We hope to welcome Cheshire Police into the academy again soon.




Congratulations to our newly trained First Aiders!

 The Level 3 Digital Marketers and Level 3 Digital Support Technicians received first aid training in February, and completed their Life Support Award. They learnt how to deal with an unconscious breathing casualty, an unconscious non-breathing casualty, and someone who is choking. They all demonstrated amazing CPR skills. Emma hopes to run this session with more apprentices in the future.


 If you have any sessions you would like us to run, or know of someone who would run a session for us, please let us know.





'Think Car' and The Fatal Five

'Think Car' Event


Everything you need to know about the changes to the Level 3 ICT assessment process

The newly released L3 ICT apprenticeship is proving to be a popular one amongst employers and apprentices alike. As this apprenticeship standard is less than 12 months old, information about the End Point Assessment (EPA) is still being understood and finalised by City and Guilds (C&G).

 Currently the requirements for the EPA are:


The submission date for an apprentices' portfolio has historically been a date co-ordinated with the apprentice and C&G after the apprentice has entered the Gateway, the event that occurs when an apprentice crosses the threshold of learning period into the end point assessment period. The apprentice must now submit their portfolio in full at the Gateway stage. The portfolio is not formally assessed, but the assessor uses it as a platform to ask relevant questions in the professional discussion.


The Professional Discussion allows the apprentice to tell the assessor all about their job role, and show off what they have been doing. This is a ‘discussion’ not an ‘interview, and there is no limit on the number of questions – the rule is 60 minutes (10% tolerance) - minimum of 10 questions.


The mindset of an apprentice’s grade has changed too. The apprentice is considered to have already attained a pass when they enter into the professional discussion - this seems like an obvious one in retrospect. They should have all the skills and evidence to prove they have met the competencies of the apprenticeship, and have demonstrated the required skill, knowledge, and behaviours


The apprentice's portfolio now must be limited to 5 pieces of evidence. These pieces of evidence can be as long as necessary and will likely contain multiple projects each.


Apprentices will have to complete a Project, Project Report, and a Project Q&A session. To echo what was mentioned earlier, gaps in the apprentices' portfolio cannot be supplemented in the project. The project is no longer supplied to the apprentice like seen in previous apprenticeship standards, but instead, the apprentice, apprenticeship provider, and the apprentice’s employer must co-ordinate a project that must be work-based and be beneficial to the employer. This project can be something such as specific or recurring problem the business is facing, development opportunities, providing an additional service. As this will be a work-based project, the apprentice has 4 whole weeks to work on the project and to report on it.


There is a heavy emphasis on the planning stage of the project, and the apprentice must show that they are capable of estimating, tracking, and maintaining their time on the project. The project report should be quality over quantity, and screenshots, video/audio clips etc are still encouraged, just as it would be for any typical report submitted within their portfolio.


The project Q&A session will be utilised to investigate decisions made during the project, what went well and what didn't, the benefit it has to the employer, as well as any other general skills-based questions, they may have regarding the technology implemented.


The Q&A will take roughly 30 minutes in total. The apprentice is encouraged to bring their report with them and use it to remind themselves of work conducted.


Finally, should an apprentice not manage to pass one of their end point assessment events, they do not need to re-sit the entire EPA process, however, the apprentice will then subsequently be capped to a pass grade for that specific event, restricting what their overall grade can be to a pass and a merit.


EPA results are issued by City and Guilds within 7 working days. Apprentices will be awarded with a declaration of their results by City and Guilds, followed by a certificate from the Institute for Apprenticeships.


Chris Wilde speaks about his experience as an escalla apprentice!

” I had two roles during my apprenticeship at two different companies. My first role was that of an Email/Web Development Apprentice, working in the Email Marketing world. My second role I went into a solo role as an in-house web developer for an Umbrella business that managed around 3-4 other business whose websites I managed.


Over the course of my apprenticeship, I learnt a huge amount, not just hard skills, or soft skills (Such as time management), but also what it meant to have passion for what I wanted to do and how far that would allow me to progress and develop. Alongside that I learnt all manner of programming languages such as HTML/CSS/JavaScript/PHP and SQL, all being used to manage multiple websites. Not only that, but I also learnt how to communicate, talk to my seniors and peers, and convey technical talk into an understandable conversation for all involved.

I'm currently working as a Campaign Development Specialist, a role that didn't exist when I started here at RedEye. This role involves all kinds of work, from client communication to product development and technical sales assistance.

I wouldn't be where I am without my apprenticeship. It does throw you in at the deep end sometimes, but that's how you learn! Doing an apprenticeship gave me a nice middle-ground between School and Work, bridged the gap between them and gave me the time I needed to adapt to the working environment and atmosphere.


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!