Coronavirus update for customers

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Coronavirus update for customers

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.

As you will be aware the government imposed a third national lockdown from Tuesday 5th January 2021. You will find out more operational detail on the implications for each of these services through the following links:

Business Development
Regulated Qualifications
EPA for Apprenticeships
Job Cards in construction (CPCS)
One Awards

Please note that NOCN Group will be following the guidance issued by the ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CCEA Regulation, 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.

Further information:

Letter from Gavin Williamson CBE MP to Simon Lebus

Letter from Simon Lebus to Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

DfE and Ofqual have launched two consultations (15th January):

GCSE, AS and A Level awarding in summer 2021

Alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other generals in 2021

Using Xbox to Access Online Learning

It is possible for learners to access their online work from home using a gaming console. For guidance on how to do this please download the document here.

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NOCN sets example as ‘responsible employer’ of apprentices

As a top-three Government-approved Apprenticeship Assessment Organisation (AAO), NOCN has proved that it practices what it preaches. We’re pleased to announce that after completing two apprenticeships in two years with us, Alex Ashby has now been appointed as a full time Customer Service Executive.

As an employer, we strongly believe that apprenticeships are about much more than training employees to ‘do the job’. Putting an employee through an apprenticeship should be seen as an opportunity for long-term career growth. This also results in greater return on investment for the employer, which has a member of staff with the potential to progress and add further value to the organisation.

Alex has completed both a Customer Service apprenticeship and a Business Administration apprenticeship at NOCN, giving him key skills and, most importantly the ‘piece of paper’ he needed to secure a permanent role with a defined career path. He puts his success down to hard work because he had to fit his studies around the demands of a busy front-line role, studying in the evening and at weekends in addition to his on-the-job training:

“Now that I have been offered my new role, I feel that all the hard work has paid off, which gives me a real sense of satisfaction!”

Working in the Customer Service team, Alex deals with daily enquiries and ensures NOCN’s Centres are supported. Such a busy role required a flexible approach to learning:

“NOCN has been very flexible, letting me fit my studies around the role, taking time out to complete my course. Having finished my training, I feel appreciated for what I know and what I can do, I am properly part of the team.”

Sheffield-based The Source worked with NOCN as the training provider of Alex’s apprenticeship, which included regular training and activity reviews throughout the programme:

“My assessor Karen was great and really supportive. She met me every month, supported me through exams and made sure I kept on track.”

Alex’s line manager Natalie, is impressed with Alex’s performance:

“Alex is a valued member of the team; he has good rapport with customers and is always willing to get stuck in to do what he can to meet their needs. It’s great that he has completed his apprenticeship and is now a permanent part of my team, he’s a real asset."

NOCN has also benefited from the experience, as Natalie explains:

“Apprentices like Alex are closer to our end-user so their input is important. We need to know our apprenticeships are doing what they’re designed for - creating opportunities for meaningful and rewarding careers.”

Before he started at NOCN, Alex worked in various jobs yet wanted to gain qualifications to help him get on, so he applied for an apprenticeship. Now he has successfully come through the programme (twice!) he has the following advice for would-be apprentices:

“Do it, definitely. On an apprenticeship you get paid, you’re working and getting a qualification at the same time. It’s a win-win situation and a great way to get an education. The icing on the cake for me has been the long-term career progression opportunities to come out of it.”

Alex now promotes NOCN’s free ‘Apprenticeship Levy’ advice sessions for other employers; a scheme that will see a large increase in the number of new apprenticeships, as Alex explains:

“This is great, I now get to promote apprenticeships to employers so that more people like me can have the opportunity for a new career. If any employers want to know more, they should get in touch.”