Apprentice of the Month - June 2018

Written on: 11 July 2018

Written by: Chloe Adamson


[apprentice of the month]

Congratulations to Christopher Blewitt from Backup Systems for being named June's Apprentice of the Month! He will be receiving £50 in high street vouchers.


would like to nominate Chris for Apprentice of the Month. Over the last couple of months, we have gone through a bit of turmoil with a long-standing IT person leaving. Chris has stepped up and is now a rock of the company.  He has blown me away with his maturity and he is thriving with the extra responsibility on his shoulders. He spends a lot of his own time in the evening learning our products and services and he has put my mind at rest that he is now able to deal with any questions or problems that our customers throw at us. Chris has even helped me recruit a new member of staff to fill the vacancy. I had my doubts about taking on an apprentice, especially one that at the start did not know much about computer systems, apart from his Xbox, but Chris has proved me wrong in a great way. After each week of a course, Chris comes back and shows us what he has learned and uses his new skills to improve our IT support procedures.  His communication skills have also improved greatly and I have no worries about him emailing or talking to customers directly.  The customers love his attitude. We use a lot of Linux and one of the latest scripting courses Chris went on has really helped him to navigate his way around our systems with confidence. It is for all of the above reasons that I hope Chris gets this extra recognition, my only regret is that I did not nominate him sooner.

Mark Ridley

We would also like to say a big thank you to everyone that nominated, please see below!

Since joining Commercial IT Services Harvey has proved himself to be a very hardworking and talented individual. This is reflected by how much he has progressed in such a short space of time. Harvey is solely responsible for monitoring all of our customer backups, raising any failures and taking ownership of the problem – from fault finding right the way through to resolution. Daily tasks he is also working on our helpdesk, taking / logging inbound calls and resolving customer issues via phone, email and remote access sessions.

Harvey is very confident on the phone and is able to tailor his communication depending on the technical knowledge of the person he is speaking to. One thing that has been mentioned several times is his willingness to provide assistance even if it requires him researching in his own time and he has received positive feedback from his colleagues and customers alike. Harvey impressed recently on an urgent matter with a difficult customer and was able to diffuse the situation, empathise with the customer and provide excellent service in a stressful scenario.

A recent example of this is:

‘Harvey was calm and collected and was able to handle the situation with ease while dealing with a client who was upset that their emails weren’t working’

‘Harvey was straight on my issue and dealt with it promptly, keeping me informed throughout the duration of the ticket. It’s always massively appreciated when things get sorted out quickly!’

Harvey always shows willing and consistently exceeds our very high expectations.

He is a credit to himself and Commercial IT Services and deserves to be Apprentice of the Month.

Kian has become a key member of our team since starting with ourselves in January. We can see that he is becoming within himself more and more confident dealing with different situations that may come up in his varied 1st Line Helpdesk role. He has a lot of enthusiasm for IT and always looking to find out why we do things in certain ways to get the best out of our customer’s technology. For his age and little experience prior to the role I am pleased with how he is developing and can see himself going far within the IT industry. In our monthly team meetings Kian contributes with what he has experienced in his role to help the team. The intake of brews have increased, this in turn has helped relationships with other departments. With improvements in customer communications, some onsite presence and escalating tickets I could see no reason why Kian couldn’t get a full time placement after his apprenticeship is over.

Keep up the good work!

  1. He has demonstrated a calm and resilient approach to his new role
  2. In the face of having to take on a number of new skills in a short amount of time, he has applied himself in an excellent manner
  3. He has achieved everything asked of him at such an early stage in his career with us
  4. He manages his time well – switching between functions with little or no fuss
  5. In relation to the Baltic online course work, he has approached this intelligently and dealt with everything demanded of him in a timely and efficient manner
  6. He has taken on additional training from his employer with enthusiasm – an example being the Basic Bookkeeping course he undertook, which is typically delivered to more experienced employees, and achieved a pass on his first exam attempt
  7. In his main role – cold calling, lead generation, account management – he has quickly become proficient, so is generating leads from his cold calls and providing a good service to his customers through account management calls
  8. Importantly, he arrives at work on time every day, is well presented and simply gets on with his job – we regard this as a basic metric for all employees to measure up to, and Georgie measures up

Since joining our team a few months ago, Beth has shown herself to be professional, enthusiastic and above all else, extremely good at what she does! I can honestly say that their skills and knowledge far exceed what I was expecting. We have noticed a marked increase in customer engagement and importantly - sales. She is polite, respectful and mature and I consider her to be an asset to our business. Having had other apprentices from other agencies, I have been blown away with Beth's calibre. I believe she is an extremely worthy candidate and hope you select her for Apprentice of the Month.

I would like to nominate our Apprentice, Lee Sutton, for June’s Apprentice of the Month. Lee joined our Claims Analytics team at Aviva a few months ago with no coding knowledge. In the past few months, he has far exceeded expectations and has learnt to code fluently in languages such as Python, SQL and SAS. He is also continuing to develop his Python and R knowledge through online courses which he completes extremely quickly and to a very high standard. Lee is extremely enthusiastic and a pleasure to work with. He is working independently on projects in many different areas and is presenting his findings effectively to different stakeholders across the business. Lee is completing all his assignments through the Apprenticeship to an extremely high standard and is always taking on new projects to do work related tasks between his learning sessions. Lee’s most recent project is looking at fraud within the travel market- an area not looked at yet within the team. This has involved using numerous coding languages to clean and join the data from various structured and unstructured data sources, to then perform multiple queries and build predictive models on the data. This has sparked much interest from numerous stakeholders across the business. Lee has worked tirelessly to ensure all stakeholders have had their questions answered which has given them such a valuable insight into travel fraud. He is able to use his initiative to prioritise his tasks and puts in 110% into every project set. In such a short space of time, Lee has become such an important member of our business and is a real team player.  Lee has massively impressed our team as well as the senior management team and we have no doubt that he will have a very successful career. We could not have wished for a better Apprentice to join our team! On behalf of his team, we just wanted to say a huge ‘Well Done’ to Lee and ‘keep up the excellent work’!

Macauley as part of his digital marketing course, has been ‘Learner of the week’ twice during his time so far and has received some glowing comments from his tutors on both occasions.

“Macauley was a star each and every day and I was very impressed with him. Macauley asked many questions during the session which is fantastic to see, it was clear that he was making notes during the week towards his exam. Macauley clearly knows this subject well and it showed with his knowledge and progress on the uCertify system - he was the quickest of the week going through it. It is clear that Macauley is going to go far in this industry, he is a huge credit to his company. There was a high calibre of students this week and the decision was a tough one, however for me my learner of the week is Macauley.”

I can only confirm what a credit he is to our company, already he’s quickly becoming our digital marketing ‘go to asset’, for advice and help across our 5 companies and has exceeded our expectations by quite a margin.

To see him growing in confidence and ability over the last 6 months has been an absolute pleasure. He’s always helpful and full of ideas and suggestions, which keeps us all on our toes, I can only see him going from strength to strength.

I would like to nominate Adam McNiven as ‘Apprentice of the Month’ for June 2018. During June Adam attended the ‘Event-driven Programming Using Visual Basic.NET’ course and was nominated as learner of the week by tutor Richard Graham. This was a good achievement for someone with little previous programming experience. Adam has also helped me to system test two Defect Fix Change Notes for the NHS Health project on which we both work. This involved submitting test cases using Smartbear SOAP UI, thus gaining experience of an automated test harness. He then wrote and executed scripts for the tests in HP Quality Center, and attached documentation to prove that the tests had successfully completed. Adam spent the final part of the month preparing for his ISTQB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing by reading the course syllabus and sitting the practice exams provided. Since joining SopraSteria in February, Adam’s attitude has been excellent. He has performed well on his Baltic Training courses, worked hard on the test tasks assigned to him, and generally shown a willingness to learn. He is also personable and gets on well with the other team members. I predict a bright future for him in the company.

Elicia joined Serco with very limited IT knowledge and unsure whether this would be the right role for her. Since then she has excelled in every sense, passing her ITIL Foundation and Baltic Assignments first time and to an excellent standard. She has been highly commended for the quality of her work and standard of evidence submitted with a high level of praise from her assessor. With very limited prior knowledge Elicia has adapted well to the IT environment, providing detailed and thorough written reports to support her evidence, with an excellent standard of spelling and grammar.

She is always the first person to act on behalf of her peers ensuring the working environment is a fair and equal opportunity for them all, she actively communicates at all levels to improve the customer service satisfaction levels on our busy service desk and encourages her team to do the same. She is polite, considerate and always ready to go above and beyond for our customers, which is reflected in her bright and pleasant attitude at work.

Elicia is our shining star for June!!

Added by Chris Wallis:

Just a quick note to say thanks to Elicia Harwood, Apprentice Service Desk Analyst.   Took control of my AD phone and resolved my issues like she’d been on the service desk for 2 years, a natural customer facing member of staff.   Explaining what she was doing all the way through.

Could even understand my “Queens” English, well done.

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