This week marks National Apprenticeship Week and having hired a number down the years, Acronyms are huge advocates of the apprenticeship model. With that in mind, we spoke to several members of the Acronyms team about their thoughts on apprenticeships and the value they bring to the company.
Dave Smith – Managing Director and Founder of Acronyms
How you have benefited from employing apprentices?
Apprentices have played a fundamental role in the growth of Acronyms. In many situations, they have been the perfect solution to filling a skills gap. We have been able to help a young person progress on their chosen career path, whilst ensuring that the knowledge and skills they learn are adding worth to the business. I’ve also found that apprentices bring a real enthusiasm to the work place. They have an eagerness to learn and reward the time you put into their development with effort and loyalty. Many of my employees started their time at Acronyms as apprentices and I’d strongly recommend apprenticeships to any employer.
Kenny Pester – First Line Technical Support Team Lead
What have you learned from your company hiring apprentices?
Whilst mentoring our latest apprentice James, I’ve been able to enhance and improve upon some of my existing soft skills such as leadership. Given James’ age and therefore relative lack of experience in the IT industry, I’ve had to be aware of the difference in our understanding. When helping James, or working through solutions with him, I need to keep in mind that our knowledge is different and adjust my explanations and language accordingly. I’d say that having an apprentice to mentor has been incredibly worthwhile to my own development. It’s been very rewarding and I’m looking forward to seeing how James’ career continues to develop.
James Kent – Technical Support Apprentice
What has your apprenticeship enabled you to achieve?
My apprenticeship has allowed me to gain experience in a real-life work place. I learn best by carrying out a task, so it has really helped me develop the knowledge I’ve gained in the classroom. I can apply my IT skills and knowledge to real problems and scenarios. Also, by having an experienced team around me, I can learn first-hand from more knowledgeable individuals that are always available if I’m struggling or experiencing problems. I’ve learned it’s never a problem to ask for help!
Why are you passionate about the value that apprenticeships bring?
Apprenticeships are important as they allow young people the opportunity to gain experience outside of the classroom. You get to see how a business operates, and work on real-life scenarios whilst you’re still learning. It’s a great mix between education and paid employment.
Technical Support Director David Parker
Can you explain what the cultural impact on your team has been?
Employing apprentices has resulted in my team being tighter knit and more responsible for one another. Not only do the more experienced members look after and assist with the education of the apprentices, this support continues once an apprentice becomes a full-time employee. The biggest strength of my team is the willingness to help one another and this is bred from having people of different experiences and levels of understanding. It creates a great environment for young people to work in, and the result is a team that feels responsible for one another. It’s an old cliché, but we succeed together, and we fail together. Everyone works hard to ensure that it’s mostly succeeding though!