Type of Apprenticeship: Level 3 IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals
Start date: April 2019
End date: October 2020
Did you go straight into your Apprenticeship from school?
Unfortunately not (though I wish I had). After I finished my A-Levels I did two years at University before I started this Apprenticeship.
Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?
Though a long time of applying for jobs, what they prefer over qualifications, is experience. Unfortunately I encountered the same Paradox almost every student faces at some point in their early careers “Needing experience, to gain experience”. Fortunately Apprenticeships are a great way around the time old paradox. Additionally (and I only found this out after I had started my apprenticeship) my year while I was at school was the last to be graded a certain way and that those below us and following would receive a different grading scale and different qualifications, and that those I have earned during my time (including A-Level) were obsolete. Taking the Apprenticeship let me gain the more, up-to-date, qualifications. Although this may not matter as much to potential employers as they can see you did indeed earn something, they were no longer nationally recognised qualifications in my chosen area.
How did you find out about your Apprenticeship?
I was searching for Apprenticeship on the UK government website when I came across this specific one.
What have you gained from your Apprenticeship – skills, experience etc.?
When you learn something in a traditional classroom, they try their best to show you how to apply that knowledge in a real life experience. But it doesn’t do it justice to being in an actual professional environment. The experience gained while in an Apprenticeship is just as (if not more so) valuable as the qualifications you get alongside it.
What has been your proudest moment so far from doing your Apprenticeship?
Being able to hold down the fort and not have the department burn down around me when my boss went on a two week holiday and left me as the only IT personnel for the department during that time.
What do you plan to do next? / What are you doing now?
I am currently on a one year contract with my department.
How has your Apprenticeship helped you to achieve this?
My Apprenticeship has assured that when I completed it I was fully trained and experienced to handle the tasks of the role I was trained for. IT allowed me to flow straight into a fulltime job role without issue.
What advice would you give a young person who might be thinking about an Apprenticeship?
If you are a Kinetic learner, if you prefer being able to take knowledge being taught to you and apply it directly with a professional environment. If your prefer experiencing what it is like to work in the job you want while being taught the skills you need to do it efficiently, both professional teaching and on the job trade secrets that might not come up in a classroom environment. Then an Apprenticeship is definitely the route to take.
What advice would you give an employer who is considering employing an Apprentice?
Be patient with apprentices. They want to learn and to do the job they are given and do it well. However, they are brand new to the role and maybe even new to the underlying skills needed, and will have a lot of questions and may get things wrong, often. But with the right guidance and help, they can be some of your most hard working employees and will want to stay on long after their Apprenticeship is over.