The apprentices at Kier Group are used to man the very busy and demanding first line support helpdesk. The working environment is corporate and demands that the apprentices are prepared for a real life working environment that can be stressful. The company are great at communicating with us here at NiTP and have been very supportive of Owain in his training.
Owain Southren, an apprentice who has recently completed his qualification and who has been promoted to a non trainee role with the company says-
“NiTP has allowed me to enter in the world of work whilst studying for useful and recognised qualifications. The course is fast paced and allows me to be constantly challenged whilst receiving excellent support from the trainer- Keith Swain. I started the course with very little IT Experience and I graduated from the academy with the highest test scores of the course.
The job at Kier has been challenging and has opened my eyes to the realities and pressures of a fast paced corporate environment. I have recently been offered a new position with Kier and hope to progress quickly to second line support.
The whole process had completely changed my life and has given me a new sense of direction, confidence and motivation to get to the top of my game.”
Katie French- Service Desk Manager says-
“Owain has been a valuable addition to the team and has fitted in quickly and has risen to the challenge of working in this professional environment.
We recruited him in April of this year and after his first week here at work he was able to complete the tasks that were required of the existing staff here. It has allowed the more established staff to deal with the higher level queries whilst giving Owain real life experience.
We undertook regular reviews with him to ensure that he felt confident in his tasks and that he was being stretched enough with his work. Whilst Owain was on his apprenticeship he resolved over 1,000 calls with integrity and professionalism.
The NiTP Process has been an excellent experience with the staff at the Academy namely Michael Knight and Polly Kean available to deal with any queries we might have quickly and professionally. They are approachable and easy to talk to about both positives and negatives.
We are so impressed by the scheme that we have promoted Owain to a non trainee position and have also taken on a new apprentice Jack Marshall, we are also committed to interviewing more candidates from the next intake in January.”
Kier Construction Group are a Multi-national construction company who have been working in partnership with NiTP@Bedford since April 2011.
Abdul and Hafeez work as IT technicians; repairing and maintaining the company’s IT infrastructure which consists both staff and student’s machines. This has exposed them to a wide variety of issues including dealing with netbooks, laptops and desktops. They are also part of the team that are responsible for the site networking and printers. Along with the manual repairs of the machines they have also become heavily involved in working with the software of the machines
Abdul said “My workplace is a professional and friendly environment. The workplace has helped me a lot in terms of developing new skills and being able to work within a real business and professional work environment. My employer has been very generous by showing me how to dismantle the different computer systems, which helped me a lot in doing my CompTIA A+ Exam certification.”
Aksa and Kamran are designers and use specialist software to design learning resources for students.
They are using Powerpoint, Photoshop and flash programmes to do this. Both learners work closely with other members of the staffing team to create the new materials and develop old ones to make them more engaging for the 11 to 16 year old learners. By doing this role it has developed their creativity as the management team give the 2 apprentices a lot of autonomy when designing the display materials.
Aksa said “I have always wanted a career in IT and design. My workplace has created lots of opportunities for me in this field. It is fun exciting and what I want to do for my career. This apprenticeship is the best decision I have made.”
Kamran said “Working with E-Learning has been amazing because I am gaining more skills as time goes by and I’m doing something I enjoy. The work place is great and the atmosphere is perfect. Having the support of the E-Learning team has boosted my confidence and now I can achieve beyond what I thought I could.”
The relationship between ourselves and E-learning is developing very strongly and they are currently negotiating to take on a further 4 apprentices for the period of time the current 4 are in the classroom.
Abdulsatar, Aksa, Hafeez and Kamran were offered places on the NITP apprenticeship programme in Birmingham and got in touch with their old work experience provider, E-Learning, to see if they would like to employ them for their apprenticeship. E-Learning interviewed the candidates and following this procedure offered them jobs, each apprentice covering a different role within the team.
Ashley achieved 3 distinctions in his Level 3 Certificate, passed his Comptia 701 and 702 and is still employed by Croft IT and doing very well. In fact, Croft IT has not only continued to employ Ashley but they have also employed an apprentice from our September intake.
A big thank you to Croft IT for giving young people an opportunity to make a difference and to Ashley for being such a success that his employer wanted another Apprentice.
Ashley Hope started with NiTP Tamworth on 14 March 2011. He immediately showed potential and a natural ability with IT. He secured employment with a local company called Croft IT. Ben Croft the Director made sure that Ashley was able to put into practice the skills he was learning in the Academy and always gave positive feedback on Ashley and the contribution he was making to his company.
Within her role Bethany excelled with her responses to queries raised for the helpdesk team, and her customer care. She clearly demonstrated the skills acquired from her training and applied these for the benefit of the team. To this end Bethany was able to contribute to targets set against her team and complete all tasks required of her with continued attention to detail. Bethany worked within the Stevenage campus, where the amount of ICT users outweighed the amount on any other NHC campus, where the demands of the role were a lot more due to the amount of users she cared for.
On completion of her apprenticeship Bethany’s hard work was clearly recognised by staff throughout the college and she is now working as a member of The Bridging the Gap team.
We have been privileged to have been part of Bethany’s development and are so pleased to see her performing well within her new team.
Bethany Lowes enrolled on the NITP Advanced Apprenticeship. Bethany clearly had a passion for design and ICT disciplines, yet wanted to further her knowledge and gain further skills within the industry. Bethany beat off competition to successfully gain a job with North Herts College’s IT department.
Over the next few weeks, we worked with Triaster to identify suitable candidates for the job roles. Tiaster set up a bespoke assessment centre as part of the recruitment process to which we sent seven candidates.
Following the assessment centre Mike gave us feedback on our apprentice’s performance in interviews and testing. He had decided to offer two apprentices roles for definite, but had concerns about a third, as he felt that he was too quiet. He discussed with me the possibility of some learning difficulty/disability, as Mike had some personal experience of some conditions.
Following our discussions Mike decided to offer all three jobs and they started with Triaster in mid November.
Triaster has proved to be very supportive of the three, and has arranged for further training for them.
I recently asked one of the apprentice’s James for his opinion on how the job is going:
Great, the company are providing a lot of support and training us up on their products; and this is really useful in understanding how the company makes its money.
The company understands we are apprentices, and have really put a lot of thought into our training and development, not just dropped us in the deep end.
Not only do I wish to celebrate the success of getting three apprentices with one employer, but also highlight how supportive some of our employers can be.
Well Done to Nick, James, Ashwin and thank you to Mike Cousins and his team at Triaster
During our first meeting with Mike Cousins, the MD of Triaster, we talked about the value of the apprenticeship programme and what benefits employing an apprentice could bring to his company. Mike liked what he heard, and then informed us that he would take up to four apprentices – we were delighted to be working with such a progressive organisation.