On ApprenticeshipsPublished last year
I've recently been short-listed for Higher Apprentice of the Year in Worcestershire's Annual Apprenticeship Awards. As I prepare to leave a three year programme spanning three levels, it feels as though it's time to reflect on the events of the last three years.
In 2011, I dropped out of VIth form. My grades weren't terrible, but they were definitely slipping -- I had gone from being an A grade student at GCSE level to scraping C and D grades at AS level. I lacked the inclination to put in the necessary effort. In hindsight, I believed this was down to having absolutely no idea what my career path might look like. Skip forward three years and I'm 21, in a stable job with great career prospects and no student loan looming overhead. Apprenticeships are that good.
To be truthful, I have never felt engaged with education in a school-based setting. I enjoy designing and building solutions to real-world problems.
A few days after completing my work experience in year 12, I received a phone call from The Development Manager after The Zoo referred my details. At the time, TDM were recruiting another developer to meet growing demand for the Open Source Software Services operation. After meeting Derrin and Laurent for an interview, I opted to take a level 2 apprenticeship with TDM Wyre Academy. I had a meeting with the Head of my VIth form to discuss options and started my job within a matter of days.
In the three years I've worked for TDM, I have completed two levels (Intermediate and Advanced) of an IT Professional qualification and am currently working to complete the Higher level. I have worked for organisations including Remploy, AQA, City & Guilds and Bridgestone and have published numerous plugins for Moodle, Totara LMS, WordPress and Mahara.
If you're looking for a way in to the IT industry, I would strongly recommend considering the apprenticeships route. Disregard your school or college's propaganda -- apprenticeships are equally applicable to white collar professions as they are blue collar professions. If you're within Worcestershire, you can search current vacancies on the brand new Worcestershire Apprenticeships website we just completed!