DATE ISSUED: 25 March 2020
The family-run Terrace Tapas & Wine Bar in Ilfracombe, Devon, doesn’t only win national awards for its authentic Spanish fare, but also its staff.
The 2019 and 2020 Good Food Award-winning eatery’s latest accolade is for its 21-year-old apprentice Taylor Phelps. She has achieved a distinction for her Hospitality Supervisor (Level 3) apprenticeship, specialising in food and beverage.
It is a triumph for 21-year-old Taylor, her employers Dawn Mullen and Clive Chilcott, and end-point apprenticeship assessment provider, Professional Assessment Ltd (PAL).
“Many congratulations to Taylor on an excellent result,” said PAL Managing Director Linda Martin. “Apprentices need to demonstrate a very high level of knowledge, skills and behaviours to achieve a distinction. The End-Point Assessment (EPA) result proves that Taylor has grasped the opportunity toshowcase her talents, and demonstrate her quality to her current and potential future employers.
“She has been robustly and rigorously tested by Lorraine Pope, one of our highly experienced, independent team of end-point assessors. We are objective and impartial without ever being adversarial. Our end-pointassessors are like ‘the driving-test examiner’, but with a difference. We go out of our way to understand the apprentice’s needs and requirements fully, whilst meeting the requirements of the assessment plan.”
How much was a delighted Dawn Mullen involved in preparing Taylor for the PAL end-point assessment, resulting in the award of a distinction grade?
“Taylor did most of it on her own,” she says. “If she needed us, we were here, but she is quite a determined young lady, wanting to achieve this by herself. We made sure Taylor had plenty of time to do everything she needed.
“She has been rewarded for the high amount she did, plus she has worked for it. She has been through all these end-point assessment methods. She has been checked in lots of different ways. She has come up with her little flag waving which is brilliant. I just think it is great! I am super-impressed!”
What impact has Taylor’s apprenticeship had on Dawn and Clive’s business? “I have already seen an impact on the business,” said Dawn. “I have noticed a change in Taylor in the way she deals with staff. Her confidence is higher. The way she deals with people also is more confident and that has a natural impacton the business. I have seen a difference and it is brilliant. She is making many more informed decisions without asking someone for advice.”
Why did Taylor decide to do an apprenticeship? The hospitality industry traditionally has been a major player in the North Devon coastal economy. This led Taylor to the profession at a young age. She tried her hand at everything from waitressing to being a kitchen porter. “I decided the industry wouldn’t be a bad long-term option,” she explained.
When Taylor was 17, she went into what she thought would prove a long-term job. The problem was that nobody would give her the option of having a paper qualification to back up her skills, or indeed give her full-on training, save for “spouting a few facts and a few things that could help”.
Then she joined The Terrace Tapas & Wine Bar. The contrast was startling because Dawn and Clive gave her a lot of responsibility early on. “I really liked this as it motivated me,” she said. “I was very grateful because I could tell Dawn and Clive trusted me. They brought up the idea of apprenticeships and I thought why not? I might know a few things now but in the end I am going to learn a whole lot more. It is going to help me progress in my career. It can give me the confidence to help other people. Having the paper qualification to back up my knowledge and skills will make all the difference.
“And I am very pleased to say I got what I wanted out of it”.
Taylor’s distinction shows she certainly succeeded in her objective!
Was obtaining the apprenticeship at college ever an option for Taylor? She did go to college but quickly realised it was not for her. “I have quite bad anxiety and a few other issues, making it hard to sit in a classroom and be expected to eat up information in a very small space of time,” Taylor explained. “Ineeded something more practical and flexible where I could take my own time to do it. Apprenticeships do have a time limit, but it wasn’t like anyone was on my back on a certain time at a certain date, apart of course from the assessments. Undoubtedly, college is good for a few people, but not for me.”
To deliver an effective apprenticeship, a good working relationship and understanding needs to be built between all the parties involved. This certainly happened in Taylor’s case.
“The handover from the training provider HIT Training was very robust,” stated PAL end-point assessor Lorraine Pope, “and they made me aware of Taylor’s apprehension going into end-point assessment, how worried she was about meeting somebody for the first time. That is one of the hardest things for any apprentice – that unknown person coming in. For anybody of a nervous disposition, it is quite a big fear factor that just adds to it.
“I was just me really, ensuring she was comfortable, she knew who I was, and what was going to happen. I also ensured her managers were aware of what was going to happen, though I had already been in communication with them on a couple of times in the planning meeting. It is always good to go back through it again to check everyone is on the same page with things like checking timings, and ensuring everybody is as happy as they can be about the process. It is also important to offer help, and get everybody’s input.”
Dawn Mullen was impressed by the PAL approach to the end-point assessment process. She said PAL were wonderfully supportive. “They don’t want you to fail. They want you to succeed. They will bring out the best in you. They have been amazing.”
What did the apprenticeship and the end-point assessment involve for Taylor?
The four core areas of the Hospitality Supervisor standard are business, people, customers, and leadership. An apprentice will have a specialism, which for Taylor was food and beverage supervisor.
The main elements of Taylor’s end-point assessment, provided by PAL, were
What apprenticeship advice would Dawn Mullen give other North Devon hospitality employers? “I would say look carefully at who your training provider and end-point assessment organisation are and, specifically, how organised they are with the whole process,” recommended Dawn. “The quality of the information you are given up front is also important, as are time scales and deadlines. All these were met with Taylor.
“I have not been let down on one single point. I have been impressed from start to finish.”
Pictured left to right: Distinction graded apprentice Taylor Phelps and her employer Dawn Mullen
For further information:
Professional Assessment Ltd
Mobile: 07958 467444
Julian Demetriadi PhD MIH MHOSPA
PR Consultant to Professional Assessment Ltd
Mobile: 07585 505309
Professional Assessment Ltd
Freephone: 0800 160 1899
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