Central Region Schools Trust Utilises Apprenticeships to Offer First-class User Support

  • By downloading this resource, you are consenting to opt-in to receive marketing communications from us. You may unsubscribe from our communications at any time. For more information on how we store your data, view our Privacy Policy.

In our recent case study, we caught up with Central Region Schools Trust to discuss the transformative impact of apprenticeships 👇🏼

Tell us about your company and the role that data plays inhouse.

Central Region Schools Trust is a well-established Multi-Academy Trust originally founded by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and is committed to advancing educational excellence across our schools.

Our overarching vision is “social justice through exceptional schools” of which our in-house Data and IT Services Teams help support us in this journey.

Our Data and IT Services teams provide complete support to all schools across our Trust, consisting of strategic and user support and development and implementation of systems.

Why did you choose to hire apprentices and upskill members of your team?

In response to industry demands for skilled talent and our commitment to fostering growth, we opted for apprenticeships. Their presence fosters a culture of mentorship and knowledge sharing, promoting personal and professional growth.

By investing in apprenticeships, we benefit our team and contribute to bridging the skills gap in the industry, ensuring a sustainable pipeline of talented individuals for our long-term success.

In addition to hiring apprentices to grow new talent, we also sought to upskill some members of our existing workforce as part of our “grow our own” strategy. Investing in the development of our current team members has helped support retention, promote loyalty, and foster a culture of continuous learning amongst our team.

This approach not only strengthens our team but also ensures that we have a skilled and dedicated workforce prepared to meet the evolving needs of our Multi-Academy Trust.

What did you want to get out of the apprenticeship process?

Across our trust, we have integrated IT Apprentices into our secondary schools and our central data team. These recruits bring fresh perspectives, enthusiasm, and a strong desire to learn.

The presence of apprentices within our team fosters a mentorship and knowledge sharing culture, where experienced team members guide and support them, promoting their personal and professional growth.

Apprenticeships are not only beneficial for our team but also address the industry’s need for skilled talent and bridge the skills gap to help establish a pipeline of talented individuals who will contribute to our long-term success.

This approach has also supported staff retention, loyalty and upon completion of their apprenticeship will open up doors and promotional opportunities with our Trust or beyond.

What have your IT apprentices achieved and how have they grown professionally?

Our IT apprentices have made significant strides in their professional growth since joining our teams.

They have become confident in working with various applications, tools, and systems critical to our operations. Additionally, they have excelled in client interactions, providing excellent customer service, and contributing to improved cybersecurity measures.

For example, in our data team, our Level 4 apprentice has been given exposure to Power BI and working alongside other professionals he has developed his skills and is now driving forward and leading on an important dashboard which will be used across our Trust.

What direct impact have your IT apprentices had on your team & wider organisation?

Introducing apprentices at Central Region Schools Trust has significantly enhanced our team’s productivity and effectiveness by infusing fresh perspectives, enthusiasm, and essential industry skills.

Their presence fosters a culture of mentorship and knowledge sharing, freeing up senior team members to focus on more complex tasks by handling first-line issues.

During school holidays, our IT apprentices collaborate on project work, ensuring the smooth implementation of large-scale deployments, which has proven highly beneficial to our Trust.

How have your IT apprentices helped ease your team’s workload?

Our team of apprentices is primarily focused on handling first-line tasks, such as troubleshooting technical issues and providing support to teachers and support staff.

Being in a first-line role, our apprentices often become the face of the team and quickly become known and build relationships with colleagues which becomes valuable when it comes to better understanding their needs.

Additionally, apprentices often support with repetitive tasks or frequent checks, ensuring that systems are running smoothly. The support from apprentices helps free up valuable time for senior team members allowing them to focus more time on strategic and complex issues and enhancing the overall effectiveness of our IT operations.

How was Baltic’s recruitment process?

The recruitment process was very positive and working with Baltic is fantastic.

At Central Region Schools Trust, we view Baltic as a partner on our apprenticeship journey, and they are always very supportive throughout the process.

It is also reassuring to see that Baltic has high standards for candidates they put forward and genuinely cares about ensuring the placement is also the right fit for the candidate.