5 ways for apprentices to deal with stress in the lead up to End-Point Assessment (EPA)

Stress Awareness Month

April is Stress Awareness Month. Anyone, at any time, can be susceptible to stress. However, apprentices can often be more at risk of stress due to balancing an intense workload and with the importance of upcoming assessments. Particularly those undertaking public sector and emergency service apprenticeships.

Apprentices can often feel like they have a lot riding on their course. Particularly with the End-Point Assessment (EPA) looming, it’s important to make sure you manage your stress levels and take precautions to help yourself de-stress when you can.

Feeling stressed will only have longer-term negative effects if you don’t deal with it properly, making the run up to your EPA more anxiety-inducing than it needs to be.

Here are our top 5 tips for dealing with stress as an apprentice.

Our 5 top tips

1. Break down your workload into small, manageable chunks

Stress can often build up when your workload increases and you feel like you have a lot on your to do list. To help manage your workload, and reduce your stress levels, try breaking your workload down into more manageable chunks. Kanban boards, available on tools such as Trello or Planner on Microsoft Teams, can help you do this.

2. Make use of the help offered by your employer

Employers want their apprentices to do well. Make use of all the guidance and support they can offer you. Have regular catch ups with your line manager and fellow apprentices and utilise any online resources available to you. If you are struggling, make sure you tell someone at work. There may be other ways your employer can help.

3. Try to lead a healthy lifestyle

The better you feel in yourself, the better you can concentrate and learn throughout your apprenticeship, and the better you will perform in your EPA. Try to make sure you get into a good routine of eating healthily, getting enough sleep, and taking regular breaks when you can. You should also consider exercising to help relieve stress. Even going for a quick walk round the block can help to improve concentration and lift your mood.

4. Get support from other apprentices

Community is powerful. Try to be involved in the community surrounding your apprenticeship, whether that’s seeing your fellow apprentices outside of work, getting involved in work-based events, or joining in with charity events your employer is running. Feeling like part of a team will help you see that there is always help around you, and that you are never alone when dealing with your apprenticeship workload.

5. Give it your best shot

Giving it your best shot is all anyone can ask of you. If you tried your hardest but didn’t pass your EPA on the day, don’t worry, you can resit the assessment. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself, there is always a way around the obstacle or challenge you’re facing.

Remember your apprenticeship is geared toward making sure you have the skills and knowledge you will need on a day-to-day basis at the end of it. There is no shame if you are not quite ready – use the opportunity to pinpoint and then focus on the areas where you need a bit of extra time.

If you have any questions about resitting your EPA, speak to your employer or ask them to get in touch with our team.

Although public sector apprenticeships can be a lot of work, there is always a way through it and always someone willing to help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your employer or your colleagues and don’t suffer in silence. Use these top tips to help you reach your EPA feeling confident and prepared to complete your apprenticeship!

Learn about our End-Point Assessment Services

We are an approved Independent End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) for a number of public and private sector Apprenticeship Standards including Operational Firefighter, Emergency Services Contact Handling, Intelligence Analyst, Police Community Support Officer, and more. Find out about our EPA services and get in touch to find out how we can help you today.

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