This week it’s National Apprenticeship Week where individuals and businesses come together to celebrate the positive impact that apprenticeships have on them and the wider economy.
The National Apprenticeship Service revealed figures that indicate apprenticeships are growing in popularity and the demand for apprenticeships is even higher. In fact, for every vacancy, there are on average 12 applications (though this figure decreases or increases depending on location and sector), so the Government is urging employers to create more apprenticeship vacancies.
At Lucidica, we love taking on apprentices so we can teach them everything we know and help them become great engineers. To celebrate, we’ve interviewed our latest apprentice, Audrey, who started with us in November 2013. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to take on apprentices in your business. Enjoy!
Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?
The main reason I did an apprenticeship was because I didn’t want to do A-levels. I didn’t want to feel like I was at school again. I started college and didn’t like it that much, so the only alternative I had was to do an apprenticeship. I did some research and saw that apprenticeships were a good opportunity to work and get the qualifications I need going forward. When I told my mum about it, she really liked the idea as well.
Why in particular did you choose IT?
It’s the subject I did really well in, in school, from year 9. It’s the only thing that always kept me going so I decided to pursue it.
What was the application and interview process like for you?
I applied to QA Apprenticeships and the person I spoke to, Aryan, straight away said he knew someone who would like me and set up a phone interview for the same day, so it all happened really quickly. For the interviews, I really liked the first one but the second one was a bit more intense because Thomas Jeffs was there! I kept having a complete mind block but I got through it.
Explain what you do on a day-to-day basis
In the mornings I usually sort out the support inbox, review & prioritise my support queue and then the day starts. I’m normally the first point of contact for our clients, I answer the phones and log support jobs that have come through by email. I help out with removing nasty viruses, setting up new machines and making sure those high priority jobs are dealt with quickly, and so on. I do everything I can to help.
How do you think your apprenticeship will benefit your career? Do you think you would be learning the same amount if you’d gone to university?
I think I’m learning much more than if I went to uni because IT is always changing. Every day there’s something new and I wouldn’t be able to learn that in uni, whereas here, I’m learning as I go. The skills I’m learning will help me out so much in the future.
What’s it like working in a male-dominated industry? Do you think more girls should apply for IT apprenticeships?
I think it’s pretty cool to be honest! I kind of like it but then sometimes I feel like I don’t have anything to talk about but I usually find something. I think more girls should apply for IT apprenticeships because it’s a good opportunity to see what it’s all about and a good industry to be in.
What’s your favourite thing about doing this apprenticeship?
Helping people out. I just love helping people and when they’re happy, I’m happy.
Do you find that you’ve changed at all as a person since doing this apprenticeship?
I genuinely do think I’ve changed as a person quite a lot. By working with people much older than me I’m a more mature person since starting. I’ve grown up a lot and taken on a lot more responsibility.
What kind of job do you hope to be doing in the future? How will this apprenticeship get you there?
I want to be a network engineer so hopefully I’m heading in that direction!
Why do you think more young people these days want to do apprenticeships?
I think more people realise what apprenticeships are all about. You learn by doing, in a real work environment and at the same time you get paid for it. I think the cost of university fees these days also has something to do with it.
Do you have any words of advice for young people considering an apprenticeship?
Just go for it!
Finally, how much do you like working at Lucidica?
On a scale of one to ten, most probably 100. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else and I work with such a friendly team. Everyone supports me and helps me whenever I need it. I couldn’t ask for a better place!
“Without doubt some of the best team members we’ve ever employed started as apprentices. From people within our admin team, to our service desk co-ordinator to top billing engineers we’ve benefited from the scheme in every corner of the business.
“Apprenticeships allow us to deliver specific on the job training to talented individuals who want to progress within their career without the overheads of university.”
– Thomas Jeffs, Lucidica CTO & Founder.