A health and care worker, who is one of the first apprentices from Sunderland College to complete his programme under the new apprenticeship reforms, is celebrating being the first to achieve a Distinction.

24-year-old Andrew Plemper completed an Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship with Sunderland Care and Support and is the first apprentice from Sunderland College to achieve the highest grade for his apprenticeship standard under the new rigorous reforms.

An apprenticeship standard programme is a new type of targeted training being delivered as part of the government’s ongoing national apprenticeship reforms.

Andrew was one of the first apprentices at Sunderland College to complete a new end point assessment instead of being continually assessed, a significant new change under the new apprenticeship reforms.

Andrew, from Sunderland, said:

“The apprenticeship has given me an opportunity to support some of the most kind, loving and caring people I have ever met, with the challenges they face living with disabilities and mental illness. I fully endorse Sunderland College and the Sunderland Care and Support apprenticeship scheme for providing me with the skills necessary to allow me to be a part of the lives of these individuals.”

Andrew’s end point assessment included a multiple choice exam and a 45-minute professional discussion with an independent external assessor from NCFE/Cache, to ensure he met high standards of care in his job role.

Cath Bibby, Health and Social Care Trainer and Assessor at Sunderland College, said:

“This is a great success for Andrew and the apprenticeship team at Sunderland College. It is testament to Andrew’s hard work and the quality of our engagement with employers and the delivery of teaching, learning and assessment of the College’s Work Based Trainers and Assessors.

“I have observed Andrew in his practice as a care worker and he has a lovely approach with people he works with, showing superb communication and compassion. Andrew had not previously been involved in care work but was very committed throughout the programme, and engaged effectively with myself and his work colleagues to build his understanding of the principals involved in care work and apply them to his practice.”

Andrew has now secured permanent employment as a Support Worker with his apprenticeship employer, Sunderland Care and Support. He has also enrolled on an Access to HE Counselling Studies programme at Sunderland College to further his studies and gain a degree.

Sunderland Care and Support deliver a range of social care, health and support services to residents across the city of Sunderland and in the region. Chief Operating Officer, Philip Foster, said:

“We are all very proud of Andrew and what he has achieved since starting with Sunderland Care and Support as an apprentice. Andrew is a very caring and supportive member of the team, whose excellent values shine through when supporting our customers.

“Andrew‘s achievement not only reflects the excellent joint training and development work undertaken in partnership between Sunderland Care and Support and Sunderland College, but also Andrew’s passion to provide the very best service to the vulnerable people he supports.”

For more information about apprenticeships at Sunderland College – attend the next open event, ring 0191 511 6000 or visit www.sunderlandcollege.ac.uk