Coronavirus update for customers

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Coronavirus update for customers

Operational Update on NOCN Group Qualifications and Services

NOCN Group offers a wide range of services including regulated qualifications, EPA for apprenticeships, Job Cards in construction, Access to HE Diplomas, bespoke accreditation and educational and skills support training.

You will find out more operational detail on the implications of COVID19 for each of these services, including advice for students and centres preparing for external assessments, through the following links:

Please note that NOCN will be following the guidance issued by the ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CCEA, QAA and Qualifications Wales, and will update our customers as things change.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss the impact on your centre, apprentices or learners please contact us on or 0300 999 1177 (Option 5).

Working to support our valued customers

You will be aware of the various Government and World Health Organisation (WHO) announcements and official advice over COVID19.
The situation is unprecedented and has been continually changing. With colleges and schools now closed and the country in effect ‘locked down’, other than essential services, we will endeavour to continue to support you, your apprentices, learners and card applicants through this difficult period.

We support Ofqual’s statement that the most important principle is fairness to all learners and apprentices, not only for those being assessed now, but also for those assessed before COVID-19.

Centre Support

All our staff are working from home, so we are still offering front line support, through telephony, email and web chat as usual.
Certificates for regulated qualifications and cards are being issued to centres in the normal way.
We aim to provide as full a range of our services as possible, where these can be delivered remotely, and we can use remote or recorded assessment methods, whilst maintaining the integrity of the assessment.
All face-to-face appointments for approval visits, External Quality Assurers, and external assessments have been suspended until training centres reopen and normal business resumes.
We are providing digital on-line support, including offering WebEx interviews, developing online invigilated exams in place of physical papers, and digital content support.

Please contact us to discuss how best we can support you on or 0300 999 1177 (Option 5).

Best wishes from all at NOCN to you our valued customers. We hope you all remain safe and well.

Graham Hasting-Evans, Group Managing Director

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Encouraging women into engineering and construction apprenticeships

Jobs in engineering and construction can be well paid, provide amazing opportunities to explore the world, meet great people and gain rewarding careers. But they are also very male dominated and this needs to change.

The UK population is roughly split 50:50 men and women, yet the proportion of women working in Engineering and Construction is woefully low:
• Percentage of engineers who are women: 8%
• Percentage of construction workforce who are women: 14%

Beyond entrenched prejudice and gender stereotyping, there are no justifiable reasons for this; women and men are equally able to do the work required in these sectors.

To compound matters, as we edge further towards Brexit, we need to be more productive to compete in a global market. UK productivity levels are 20% lower than other major Western economies, such as Germany and France. This needs to quickly improve and one of the best ways to do this is to attract more women with the right skills into these traditionally male dominated industries.

Apprenticeship programmes are an excellent way to attract new talent. They give women and men an equal opportunity to gain rewarding careers in a wide range of jobs in engineering and construction, at all levels.

Leading employers are developing their recruitment and apprenticeship strategies to actively address their workforce gender balance. Retention is also an issue, we need to keep the people we attract, therefore work place conditions must improve - including health and safety, inclusive cultures, pay and conditions and progressive employment policies around parental leave and flexible working.

A balanced workforce can deliver a better quality service, but only if the workplace culture evolves as well. Bullying, banter, sexism, dangerous and dirty working conditions – all of these things need to be fixed and by so doing the working conditions for everyone – women and men – are improved. This has got to be good thing.

Such equal apprenticeship opportunities exist now and are available now with some of the UK’s best employers. We encourage more women to look again at careers in construction and engineering and to consider the apprenticeship route into work.

NOCN is an accredited Leader in Diversity and appointed to deliver end point assessments for engineering and construction apprenticeships, available for employers and training providers who can get in touch to discuss apprenticeships, assessment and equality by calling 0300 999 1177.