GB3 - Managing an IT Apprentice

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How is your new apprentice Josh settling in?

Josh is the best apprentice I have ever had, and I’ve had a number of them. He has come into the team with such confidence, and has been a sponge for knowledge; anything you give him he learns from and applies it to his work.

Since he started, he has fast tracked more than I originally planned. Usually a new starter wouldn’t get involved with being on the phone this soon, but he has absolutely taken on board everything we have taught him, and done it so confidently and correctly that I’ve been able to put him onto the phones a lot sooner than I had expected.

How has he improved since he started on programme?

His customer service on the phone is amazing as he can build up great rapport. He is the first point of call for IT at the minute for one of our main customers, which is amazing as he has only been here for a month.

For that customer, he is handling incoming calls as well as phoning them back to follow up. He is able to follow procedures, find out what the fault is, and see if he can fix it. If he can’t fix it, he passes the ticket on and asks for feedback so he can learn for next time. He doesn’t have to do that as he could just move onto the next ticket, but he is constantly wanting to learn, which is just so refreshing.

How has he impacted on the business?

It’s like he has been here forever. I give him things to do and he just does them. I can trust him, which can sometimes be a difficult thing to build up initially, but he is just that good that I can’t state enough how impressed I am with him.

Last Friday, our MD was in the office and they had heard lots of good things about Josh. He called him in the office just to let him know how well he is doing. He was so happy to have Josh on board with GB3, and we all believe that he has got a fantastic career ahead of him with us.

We have had other apprentices who have started in a similar position to Josh and have now progressed on within the project area by implementing things for new customers, so it’s great to see him doing so much amazing work in such a short period of time.

How has he gone above and beyond in his role?

Looking at statistics, we can monitor how many tickets everyone is closing, and he is well on track. He either equals with people who have been on that contract for a while or has often done more.

He’s previously worked in a customer facing role which has helped him with his confidence on the phone and he has also been able to use these skills to help him to bond with everyone in the team. When you have to teach skills like that it makes the process a lot slower, which is part of why he has fast tracked so much.

He’s always asking questions and flagging things, as well as going away and finding answers and researching things. He has learnt what I would probably expect an apprentice to take generally 3 months before they get to that stage.

He is just so IT driven so I know that this is totally the right role for him. He has the right methodical approach to try and resolve issues. It’s something that you want your standard first line engineers to do, so his characteristics are amazing to have for an apprentice. I just can’t emphasise how impressed I am with him!

What are the benefits of taking on an apprentice?

The fact that once they get to know your business, they will stay with you and progress. The service desk is the heart of our IT infrastructure as every ticket comes through us. This means that while working here, apprentices can get a good understanding of what area they want to work in next, whether that’s networking, server or desktop support.

They will come in and learn the behaviour and the values of your organisation and when they do move through the business they take that with them. You can bring in experienced people, but sometimes learning the basics and core values can be difficult for them as they will need to change their habits. But with apprentices, you can mould them from the start so they can work in the way you expect of them. That’s why we go for apprentices.

How have you found working with Baltic so far?

We have two training providers that we work with. Our preference is Baltic Apprenticeships because the Smart Classroom seems to work better than the apprentice being out of the office for a week. Previously, travelling to training centres has been an issue for our apprentices, and we don’t have that problem with Baltic Apprenticeships.

They can do their training in the workplace which they seem to like. I think the general feedback from the Baltic Apprenticeships assessors is more frequent as well. I have had no negative feedback from the learners who have been on the training.

Would you recommend Baltic Apprenticeships to any other employers and if so why?

Yes I would, because of the fact that I can compare you to another provider. I had used Baltic Apprenticeships for apprentices when I worked in a previous company and when I moved to GB3 I brought Baltic Apprenticeships with me.