Asher Newbigging is an apprentice working at Tangent a digital agency with offices across the UK, he is also the first Software Development Technician Level 3 apprentice to successfully complete the new end-point assessment for this programme.
When apprenticeships were reformed, the way apprentices were assessed changed. The old world saw learners continually examined, instead today’s apprentices must complete an end-point assessment (EPA) along with a synoptic project to complete their apprenticeship.
The EPA, administered by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT is specifically designed to the specifications of the Software Development Technician programme Asher recently completed. The EPA is designed to test key competencies apprentices have learned throughout their apprenticeship.
“It was a new, fresh and exciting experience at the end of the apprenticeship. It was run well and really challenged me. The EPA and the synoptic project were unlike anything I have ever done before.” Said Asher, who now plans to complete a degree apprenticeship with QA with the full backing of Tangent.
An important part of the EPA process is engagement from employers. Tangent’s Technical Director Andy Eva-Dale has been involved throughout and was keen to ensure Asher fared well in his EPA. Andy said: “Asher has already made an unbelievable contribution to our business- he’s doing billable work for our clients and having him go through the EPA process is really valuable as it rounds the apprenticeship off well. It is reassuring for employers that a good body like BCS are involved too.”
QA’s digitally focused Software Development Technician L3 apprenticeship gives learners and employers the flexibility of choosing a C# track or a Java track. Asher, who has a fondness for languages outside of work, opted for the Java track saying: “I’ve always liked languages, but I never expected the languages of Java and MySQL to be the one I’d have the most success in. That’s largely down to my skills coach from QA, Puisy. Being the first to complete the EPA is an honour but Tangent and QA have to take credit too.”
For Asher and Andy this represents the culmination of a lot of hard work and as Asher gears up to take his next steps, Andy is looking to the future too. “Tangent sees more apprenticeship development in a number of areas, a broad range of skill sets is important to us and apprenticeships will help us grow.”