Written on: 19 May 2022
Written by: Millie Whiteoak
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Doing an apprenticeship is an amazing way to build experience and start a long-term career in the IT industry. During the programme, you’ll learn from industry experts, develop impressive technical skills, and hone some in-demand workplace behaviours. But what happens after your apprenticeship is complete?
To answer this important question, we caught up with Jordan and Kate from ITC Service. Jordan completed his Level 3 IT apprenticeship two years ago and is now thriving as a Senior Service Desk Engineer. Kate manages Human Resources at ITC and has seen first-hand how former apprentices can play an important role in an organisation’s business model.
Jordan Dooley started out as an IT apprentice and is now a Senior Service Desk Engineer with a focus on second line IT support services. He explained how his role has changed over the years:
“When I finished my apprenticeship, I got involved in more projects and more complicated support tickets, and then skilled up through the ranks to Second Line Support, which involves a lot more knowledge,” said Jordan.
"The main difference is the difficulty. Starting out as an apprentice it did seem difficult at first but looking back it’s much easier than being a Second Line Engineer in terms of the problems you face and the issues you come across. It’s a different level; you need more technical skill to be able to sort those harder problems.”
“The apprenticeship has given me confidence. It gave me the knowledge and understanding of how to fix problems in more detail. I think overall, it’s improved my technical knowledge and dealing with troubleshooting issues on a day-to-day basis.”
ITC Service are a company who provide award-winning IT support to 450 businesses throughout the North East, nationally and internationally. Over the years, ITC have chosen to expand their team through IT apprentices, growing into one of the UK’s top Managed Service Providers (MSPs).
We caught up with HR’s Kate Anderson to hear more about their apprentices, past, present, and future:
When Jordan joined us, he already had some technical knowledge – but he had a lot to learn through his apprenticeship. A lot of Jordan’s success as an apprentice was down to his exceptional attitude towards learning. He always wanted to know how he could improve. He would watch how senior engineers completed complex tasks and would offer his help so that he could get involved.
Jordan’s development has been outstanding, but it’s been a journey! It’s now coming up to two years since he completed his apprenticeship. His goal was to progress to Second Line Support, and now he’s there.
Jordan’s really proven himself over the last couple of months and his knowledge continues to strengthen. He is a go-to person for IT queries because he will always try to find a solution to any problem and provide fantastic support to his colleagues.
There’s a huge IT skills shortage in the North East and looking back, if we hadn’t make the decision to invest in apprenticeships, I don’t think we would have been able to grow at the rate we have.
Hiring apprentices in our team has gone from an idea to an essential part of how we operate. With the skills shortage in IT, Support Engineers can pick and choose quite easily where they work and it’s hard to retain staff. We’ve found that growing our own IT engineers through apprenticeships helps us to grow as a business.
Overall, I think without apprenticeships, we wouldn’t have been able to grow to the size we have.
At ITC, we try to play to people’s strengths. Quite often we have apprentices that start and like to get hands-on, so they’ll often start in our workshop. They’ll help with tasks such as rebuilding PCs and adding various software packages to devices – the practical stuff!
We then try and build their confidence to progress to a more customer facing role on the service desk, logging support tickets and doing some quick fixes. Our IT apprentices also get the opportunity to go out in the field and shadow Field Engineers. There’s a wide range of tasks that our apprentices get involved in. One of our newest apprentices is completing a lot of installation and cabling work. They were really interested in that field, so it was important for us to give him that exposure.
Around 95% – if not more – of our apprentices go on to have a full-time contract with us, but this doesn’t mean their learning stops! We know that everyone needs to continue to learn new skills and develop further.
Every employee at ITC has a unique training plan that contains specific courses or qualifications they can work towards. Once our team complete their Baltic apprenticeship, they usually go on to gain Microsoft Certifications, depending on what they’re interested in and what route they want to take.
A lot of our apprentices now have full-time, permanent jobs with us! Obviously Jordan has become our Second Line Support, but some have gone into field-based work, and some have even become Team Leaders.
I think a big positive is that a lot of our previous apprentices have become what we call a SPOC – a single point of contact for a specialist area! This gives them more responsibility in their roles.
One of the most important things is that our previous apprentices are brilliant at supporting our new apprentices. They’ve been through the same journey, so they understand the support required and really take time to help them build their knowledge.
Written on: 6th July 2022Read blog post