Celebrating our apprentices for National Apprenticeship Week 2019

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2019), a week dedicated to celebrating the value apprenticeships bring to both learners and businesses, is upon us.

In an economy that is continually shifting and experiencing a number of skills gaps, apprenticeships could be the answer. However, many job roles are still skewed to university graduates; entry-level roles that were once used as a foot in the door for many young people starting their careers now require at least a bachelor’s degree. What’s more, over half of university graduates are in roles unrelated to their degrees (CIPD).

Apprenticeships allow learners to blend academic learning with on-the-job vocational training, arguably better preparing them for their career than classroom learning alone. This becomes even more important in the technology sector, where the UK is experiencing a severe skills gap.

A 2018 study from the University of Roehampton found that this gap began at school as ICT, an integral class for learners whether or not they want to work in IT, was phased out for the “harder” and non-mandatory Computer Science.

Whilst this gap must be addressed at a school-level, businesses must take responsibility to ensure their employees, and in turn the current and future workforce, are equipped with the rights skills required in this new digital economy. Apprentices can acquire skills that they may not have gained at school, and you can mould their learning to suit their specific job role and the needs of your company.

Vital on-the-job experience is not the only benefit of apprenticeships; the stats from businesses that hire apprentices speak for themselves. 76% say productivity has improved with the addition of apprenticeships, while a similar 75% said apprenticeships “improved the quality of their product/service” (gov.uk).

At TSG, we’re committed to not only helping learners get their first step on the career ladder through apprenticeships, but to training our apprentices and playing our part in addressing the UK’s digital skills gap.

We currently have 3 apprentices at TSG in internal IT services and our customer-facing service desk, while our business support apprentice has recently completed her apprenticeship and is now in a permanent role at TSG. We’re currently hiring for two more apprentice roles, and have committed to hiring two apprentices a year on alternate years to our service desk. What’s more, we’re looking to further expand our apprentice recruitment in the future – watch this space!

Our apprentices are offered a clear career path; in fact, our Technical Proactive Consultant Jamie originally joined TSG as an apprentice in our internal systems team and progressed to an on-site consultant role.

For National Apprenticeship Week, we sat down with two of our apprentices – Dom Worrall (Internal Systems Apprentice) and Ryan Coates (Apprentice Service Desk Agent) to discuss why they chose to pursue their careers via apprenticeships, how they’ve progressed during their time at TSG and what their apprenticeships have done for them. We also spoke to our Training and Development Manager, David Filmer, and our apprentices’ mentors Julie (Service Desk Team Leader) and Steven Carter (Internal Infrastructure & Communications Manager) to find out what Dom and Ryan have brought to their teams.