Apprenticeship Assessment Centre Sessions

Apprenticeship Assessment Centre Sessions with Honey Clarke on behalf of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services.

In conjunction with The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the National Skills Academy for Financial Services (NSAFS), BPP Professional Education recently hosted a series of 90 minute skills workshops to help apprenticeship applicants prepare for their FCA assessment centre.

The sessions were designed to ensure students;

  • Recognise the value of professional etiquette
  • Appreciate the importance of what they should say and how to deliver key messages
  • Are aware of body language and how to present themselves
  • Identify the various contexts where verbal communication is relevant and significant for job success
  • Understand the different types of questions that could be asked in interviews
  • Network with other applicants

Honey Clarke, Employability Consultant, said ‘the sessions proved to be impactful and I was completely blown away with the enthusiasm and charisma of the students; everyone had a common goal and that was to get themselves as prepared as they possibly could be. All were eager, keen and very hungry for success. To be part of the process and to help students in this way has been a real privilege.’

The structured sessions were framed as ‘coaching’ sessions and a ‘safety zone’ for students – giving them the opportunity to freely ask questions and communicate with their peers with ease without judgement.
There were certain tasks that shaped the day, from simple techniques around appearance and how to enter the room positively, to shaking a hand confidently and getting comfortable with small talk.

Feedback from the group showed Honey to be encouraging and supportive, with participants valuing the opportunity for one-on-one sessions, which some students felt more comfortable with.

Honey also said ‘The NSAFS’ objective is to help prepare students in the best way possible, and we certainly hope these sessions have done that. It would fantastic if we could continue to run these types of bespoke sessions/forums for the FCA and other organisations hiring apprentices in the near future.’

Emma O’Dell, Head of Financial Services Apprenticeships and Strategic Partnerships at BPP said; ‘These sessions have been particularly useful for applicants who have little or no previous work experience, perhaps school leavers who are applying for their very first corporate job. For those who haven’t previously spent time in the workplace, it can be rather daunting - sessions like these set them up for success and give them a new found confidence. Employability skills are becoming more and more important especially as apprenticeship vacancies are on the rise. I’d certainly encourage more employers to work with the NSAFS if the opportunity presents itself to give applicants the best possible chance of success.’

The NSAFS is an employer – led not profit charity working to improve levels of financial education, and to create alternative employment routes into the sector and to develop the skills of its workforce.