Apprentices Case Studies

Get more information by reading our Case Studies. These are all about our Apprentices.

  • 5 minutes with Matthew Butcher

    Matthew Butcher started with ITEC as a Study Programme learner who went on to complete his Level 2 IT Professional Apprenticeship gaining his MTA Networking Fundamentals, MTA Server Administration and CompTIA A+ qualifications. He then went on to complete his Level 3 IT Professional Apprenticeship gaining his Network+ and MSCA Qualifications and is now currently completing his Level 4 Cyber Security Apprenticeship. I caught up with Matthew to pick his brain as to why he chose the apprenticeship route and if he thought it was the right choice.

    Did you choose to come to ITEC, over going to college?

    No, I did go to college to get my A levels, however I didn’t study IT. I applied to do an apprenticeship at ITEC even though I didn’t have much experience in IT. I got a call asking if I would like to take part in ITEC’s study programme, which would then give me the qualifications to do an apprenticeship with ITEC, and then once the course was completed my CV would be sent out to employers to help me get an apprenticeship. I attended an open day where I got to talk to all of the trainers at ITEC and they seemed really knowledgeable, so I decided to give it a shot – and I’ve never left.

    What Advantages do you feel you have now over someone that would have done IT at college then gone off to University and got a degree in Computer Science? Do you feel that you have more advantage over somebody that has done that?

    I definitely feel I’ve got a lot more real-world experience than they tend to give you at University, University is more Theory based. The study I have done here is more working qualifications so the Microsoft, CompTIA and Huawei I’m doing now are real-world situations rather than at Universities who tend to simulate the real world in exams. I’ve gained a lot of experience working with my boss that I don’t think I would have gained if I had gone to University. When things don’t go right in the real world within IT I know how to fix the problems as I have learned about them in a live environment, whereas someone who has been to University will only know the theoretical side which isn’t always the way things go on a real system. I didn’t want to go to University to get into debt and get a degree which potentially doesn’t mean much when you do try for a job. For the IT that I do, a degree in Computer Science wouldn’t really stand out as it is too vague. Whereas with the Apprenticeships you don’t have the worry of the debt, you get what you learn and you get paid too

    You started on the Study Programme, level 2, level 3 now coming into your level 4. What is the thing that you’ve enjoyed the most?

    All of the Technical Side, building up to what I’m doing now. Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to do the Huawei qualifications that I’m doing now without it because it wouldn’t make any sense at all. So, it’s been good getting all of the knowledge and building up to it and the support from the technical trainers has been fantastic.

    Where do you feel that ITEC was there for support to bridge the gap between leaving school and going to work? Do you feel you got support around that?

    Yes, I would say the most support came from the beginning. It was a harder transition as I had never done any IT before and I didn’t have any experience. Doing the Study Programme with Andrew and Stuart they knew all of the fundamentals and basics, and not knowing anything it was a good place to start at with them. I did find the reviews helped highlight areas with myself that still needed developing. For example, the IT Trainer would write on the review that I needed help in a specific area then I would know that I needed to improve and I knew what I needed to focus on and could work on it with the trainers.

    Tell me about a typical day at Cyberdan.

    Anything goes, you come in one morning and it can be completely quiet all day. You come in the next day and the phones are ringing off the hook. The general stuff that we do throughout the day is supporting clients and doing checks in the background. You come in in the morning review the client backups making sure they’ve all come in properly and if they haven’t you remedy them. First remedy, then investigate that’s our policy, usually they go hand in hand but sometimes it’s as simple as the backup being bigger than usual and times out before it can send. We then check the intranet. We have a job section on our intranet, which generally for me is client health checks – which can take a few minutes or even a few hours. We are always learning stuff about the benefits and restrictions of various Operating systems like Linux during our downtime and seeing how we can practically use them to make our lives easier and to help the clients keep their systems running. Obviously, clients come first above all.

    What is a typical issue that comes up?

    A typical issue at the moment is that we have a client who runs a slightly older version of Oracle that has a bug where the memory fails to clear down when the contents are no longer needed by Oracle. This has caused their shared memory to fill up and means that their server will fall over regularly now that we have entered the busy period. To remedy this, we monitor their shared memory and when it gets to around 80% full we will schedule some downtime with them to do a restart on their database to clear the memory down. We are in talks with them to get a patch on to fix this however we are against doing this during their busiest time of the year as we are cautious of introducing new bugs or issues. At this point, it’s better the devil you know.

    What is something that you have learned at ITEC then when you have gone back to work it has been really valuable?

    I would say Networking; We’ve had a couple of issues with client DNS which is covered under the networking courses and has made diagnosing these issues so much easier.

    How did you feel holding a job down as well as trying to do day release? How did you balance it?

    Quite easily. Dan is quite supportive, whenever I need to do a day at ITEC he says ‘just put it in the diary, don’t worry about work and go to college and get your work done’.  If I need to finish any more college work at work then that’s fine so long as the clients are taken care of.

    We have seen you start as this young man and now its years down the line and completing a level 4 apprenticeship. You have obviously seen yourself grow within this time and your knowledge and skills have developed, so where do you see yourself in five to six years’ time?

    Working in Cyber Security, that’s where I have wanted to be almost since I started my apprenticeship. Hacking and security are very interesting to me and where I would like to end up as the scope for it is huge (User training, system vulnerabilities, different types of attacks etc.). I’m currently doing the Cyber Security apprenticeship and Dan has said if I find any other training that’s reasonably affordable I can get on that too.

    Would you recommend ITEC to other young people considering an Apprenticeship as an alternative to College or University?

    I would. The technical training is really the best around compared to other places that I’ve seen as they don’t offer nearly as much with the amount of support ITEC does. You get a longer time period too to complete the training like Network + you get around 13 weeks whereas other places you only get 5 weeks. You learn at a good pace it’s not rushed and Darko really knows how to effectively teach the course material. I think it is the best place to be for training as a technical apprentice.

  • 5 Minutes with Stacey Hall

    Stacey Hall completed her Level 2 and Level 3 IT Technical Professional Apprenticeship with ITEC Learning Technologies

    What has been the best thing about completing an apprenticeship?

    Knowing that all the work I put into my apprenticeship, both theoretical and practical, has got me where I am today. The support and teachings from my tutors at ITEC were great, but I know that without my own hard work, I wouldn’t have the multiple professional qualifications I have now. Although I work in the same place I did at the time of my apprenticeship (by choice), I have moved up and been promoted twice.

    How do you think an apprenticeship has benefitted your career?

    My apprenticeship has benefited me from the beginning. Allowing me to make my own choices and gave me personal, social and professional skills. My confidence would not be where it is today without being in a working environment from the start or without ITEC and the support given. I am still proud of my ‘IT Apprentice of the Year’ award.

    Would you recommend this route? If yes, why?

    Yes. I was able to study and work in the field of my choice .Along with theoretical studies from my tutors at ITEC, my practical studies at work really opened my eyes about the career I was stepping into.  I knew that, unlike University, if my apprenticeship wasn’t working out or it wasn’t what I thought it would be, I could change paths or end the course and not be left with a huge debt or the obligatory feeling that I needed to continue. I’m glad to say, I never had these thoughts as the process of getting me onto the course was well executed and suited to me, ITEC gave me reassurance that everything was in my hands. 

  • 5 Minutes with George Donovan

    George completed Level 2 and 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship with ITEC Learning Technologies,

    Your Job Title was:- HSE Administrator

    Your Job Title now:-  Health & Safety Co-Coordinator

    What has been the best thing about completing an apprenticeship? The best thing about completing my apprenticeship was that securing myself a full-time job in a very well established industry. It has allowed me to understand why businesses do certain things and how they are run.

    How do you think an apprenticeship has benefitted your career?

    This has benefitted me because I had no idea what I wanted to do in regards to a career.

    Would you recommend this route? If yes, why?

    Yes, I’d recommend this course because it gives the learner the opportunity to not only earn money whilst learning. But to see the overall view of how a business runs and what to expect from a full-time job if you are offered one at the end of the programme

  • 5 minutes with Caius Ajiz

    Caius completed his Level 2 and Level 3 IT Professional Technical Apprenticeship with ITEC Learning Technologies.

    What has been the best thing about completing an apprenticeship?

    Learning as I go and on the job in a live environment. Doing this allowed me to see how a typical enterprise was set up and how a workplace (more specifically an office space) works with the people and inter-personal skills. Work experience is something that must be experienced to fully appreciate how to conduct oneself in an office. Progressing and building my skills to a high level, mainly because of the people I was working with. My colleagues are all very good at their jobs, being able to have them show me how systems work, with them explaining as we went allowed me to gain well rounded knowledge.

    How do you think an apprenticeship has benefitted your career?

    An apprenticeship has set me up with a good employer. One that seems to genuinely cares about its staff and makes sure that they continue to learn and progress as people.   It has given me experience of the work place and how people interact. It has given me the necessary qualifications to make it into infrastructure level position. My position gives me access to enterprise level hardware and software, and allows me to exercise my knowledge every day.

    Would you recommend this route? If yes, why?

    An apprenticeship is an excellent path to take for someone who is highly driven, willing to learn and adaptable. People, who possess these qualities, do extremely well in apprenticeships and make excellent technicians. 

  • Matthew Hall

    A few words from his excellent mentor Sam Ashby who continues to support Matthew and encourages apprenticeships.

    " I would like to congratulate Matthew Hall for completing his Level 2 IT Apprenticeship Course.

    Matthew has been attending ITEC a local collage one day a week and completing the remainder of his work base training within Hood Group.

    Not only has Matthew successfully passed all of the following exams as part of his Apprenticeship he was also a finalist for the IT Apprentice of the Year Award which is a fantastic achievement in his first year.

    Level 2 City & Guilds Diploma in ICT Professional Competence
    Level 2 City & Guilds Certificate in ICT Systems and Principles
    CompTIA A+
    Microsoft MTA Networking Fundamentals
    Microsoft MTA Server Admin Fundamentals

    Having an apprentices within the IT Support Team has allowed a two way knowledge opportunity with Matt learning from his colleagues and in return sharing new information from his course." 

  • BIG JOURNEYS START WITH SMALL STEPS

    This company specialises in bringing young people with mental health issues back into the community. This shows that with a little time, patience and the right attitude anyone can flourish.

    BACKGROUND

    CW first came to us when she was 17. Experiencing social isolation, depression and chronic anxiety she lived with her family who were experiencing their own problems and CW had become virtually a recluse. Under the care of the local Mental Health Trust she was referred to an employment specialist who could see that due to her high levels of anxiety, she was far away from being ready for employment. CW one day arrived here with her employment specialist. We could not see her face because she had covered it with her long hair and was crying uncontrollably. For some weeks CW would present in the same way and it was difficult to reach her, but eventually we did and she slowly began to trust a few people and initially worked with a female mentor making handmade greeting cards. She then was encouraged to try learning some photoshop work in the design area and with her mentor began to relax as she enjoyed working with images sourced from the Internet.

    2015 AND A BOOK LAUNCH

    During the following year we worked on helping to build her confidence and she was supported by her mentor to volunteer at a local Theater assisting with window dressing and serving ice creams during the interval of a children’s show. CW had written a couple of books during her period of isolation and her mentor then supported her with the creation of a cover for a book she was trying to get published.We were all elated on discovering that a publisher had shown an interest and when she shared this information with the Theatre Administrator, he offered to let us use the Theatre for a Book Launch using 2 local actors to read extracts from the book to bring it alive. Members from BCP and our supporters as well as CW’s family attended the launch that was very professionally produced using a preview video made by CW and a close friend. The story was covered by the local paper and was a big achievement. This was in February 2015, and CW now 19, was starting to grow in confidence.

    LAYING FOUNDATIONS

    During the summer of 2015, we introduced CW to the finance side of the company and she had begun learning invoicing and reconciling the till when her mentor (me) was suddenly hospitalised with a stroke. CW attended BCP for one day a week and coped admirably with working on her own until her mentor was slowly able to return.

    APPRENTICESHIP OPPORTUNITY

    In the latter part of the year, the local Council made a proposal to us to fund some of the wages for 2 apprentices and CW was identified as one of the people who would benefit from this. Having a long-term health condition meant that CW could take advantage of the Essex County Council diversity scheme for apprentices which meant that the apprenticeship could be managed over a period of 18 months with a shorter working week of 3 days.CW not only had to get used to working for 3 days a week and work through the tiredness but also had to overcome her fear of taking exams and attending college but ITEC, the training provider was very understanding and supportive. They regularly came to us to monitor CW’s progress and were always pleased with the content of the course work set and exam results.

    CW completed her qualification in time, in November 2016 and obtained a Level 2 in Business Finance and Administration.

    GROWING WITH CONFIDENCE

    During these 18 months CW was,  on occasion, attending business networking breakfasts and events, supporting our Outreach Director in delivering external courses to businesses and helping with promoting the business in general. She found it very difficult to find the confidence to speak to people she hadn’t met before but gradually, very slowly, began to overcome this. In November 2016, CW accompanied me and another Director to Westminster in London, where we delivered a presentation to an ACAS breakfast as we had been featured as a case study in their report on managing mental health in the workplace. This involved staying overnight in a hotel,  again something CW had not experienced before. In February 2017, CW played a valuable part in setting up the equipment and managing the slides for a power point presentation during our workshop that was co-produced with and delivered at the University of Essex. In front of some 30 delegates, who were mostly employers from around Essex, CW facilitated one of the sessions. She felt extremely anxious but we were very proud that she took up the challenge despite feeling terrified. CW’s biggest accolade, however, was winning an award from the Training Providers, ITEC where she was runner up for Apprentice of The Year and it was a proud moment to witness her going on stage to collect her trophy and pose for the camera. Something she would never have done even a year before.

    AND NOW…….

    With the funding expired, CW continues to volunteer with us for one day per week still working on the finance side and is currently mentoring one of our volunteers who is in recovery from mental illness. CW is also using all the skills learnt to start building a business with her mother. All the facets required to do so, from company logo design, advertising through social media, marketing, networking, promoting, knowledge of cash flow and maintaining accounts have all been learnt during her apprenticeship.

    We are very proud to have been part of the journey and very thankful to the local Council for giving us the opportunity to make a difference.

    We all wish CW every success in her new venture and a bright future ahead.

  • Dan Snow

    Dan Snow completed his apprenticeship with local IT firm Res- Info Tech.  After finishing his Advanced programme and armed with Microsoft professional qualifications Dan has secured a full time job in London at Greenfields Technology as an IT Support Technician.

  • Hannah Scally

    Hannah Scally is a Level 3 Business Admin Apprentice here at ITEC.  Hannah started with us in April 2013 – she carries out reception duties, is an exam invigilator and administrator and assists all the ITEC team with their admin needs.  Hannah was a finalist in the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ category at the Basildon District Business Awards in 2014. 

  • George Kirby

    George Kirby completed both a level 2 and level 3 apprenticeship at Mercedes Benz of Ipswich

  • Michael Brady

    Michael is undertaking a business administration apprenticeship at Packaging aids in Basildon

  • Scott Desomer

    Scott Desomer is a level 3 IT apprentice at Res- Info Tech, an IT Support company based in Leigh on Sea.

  • Dean Lyons

    Dean Lyons completed his level 2 IT Professional apprenticeship and is nearing the end of his advanced level 3 programme.  Dean won IT Apprentice of the year at the 2015 ITEC Awards.

  • Ian Branch

    This month we interview Ian Branch, who completed his IT Practitioner apprenticeship with ITEC in 2001 followed by further training as an adult learner in 2003, when he completed a Microsoft course.   

  • Camilla Hards

    This month we interview Camilla Hards, who completed a IT User apprenticeship with ITEC.

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