Burton and South Derbyshire College

Apprentices from Burton and South Derbyshire College (@BSDCofficial) are currently supporting National Apprenticeship Week (8th-14th February), a national celebration of apprenticeships.

The week, which is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy. This year, it is also recognising how employers of all sizes have stepped up to the challenge during the pandemic.

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers, which lead to nationally recognised qualifications. An apprenticeship is a way for young people and adult learners to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future. Hiring apprentices helps businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

This year’s theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2021, or #NAW2021, is ‘Build the Future’, aiming to encourage everyone to consider how apprenticeships help individuals to build the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career. The week-long celebration of apprenticeships will showcase the impact apprenticeships can have on communities, local businesses and regional economies.

Shoaib Hussain, Technical Services Apprentice for Spectrum Telecoms, has developed in confidence and skills since beginning his apprenticeship. He has spent hours gaining and improving his knowledge remotely to attain the accreditation to work on the specific hardware and software the company offer to their customers.  He is developing into a competent and determined first line support engineer and a real asset to the company. He is also giving back to the College by supporting full time learners with their assessments and offering to be a motivational guest speaker.

Shoaib commented: “I have loved learning from my senior colleagues who have decades of experience in IT. They have taught me so much from their past experiences working at major Telecom and IT companies. I enjoy solving real-life problems for customers. It is really satisfying to be able to assist customers in order to get their services back up and running again. My ambition is to become a Network & Telecoms Engineer.”

Meanwhile, Georgina Gibson, Receptionist/Administrator Apprentice for ProMinent Fluid Controls Ltd began her apprenticeship just a few weeks before the first lockdown in March. Despite the challenges, she has worked hard to improve the way that the company send out invoices and has searched for and updated the company’s system so that invoices are now able to be sent out electronically. She has also been coaching her colleagues on the new processes and systems.

Georgina said: “I have enjoyed working at ProMinent as the staff are so friendly and helpful that I feel comfortable to ask about anything. I also enjoy the amount of input I can have on what is done in the business and that my ideas aren’t ignored. My career ambition is to stay at ProMinent and work my way up to higher roles as I have loved the atmosphere and friendliness that ProMinent has as a business. I feel I belong here!”

Georgina’s Manager and Head of Operations at ProMinent Fluid Controls, Debbie Smith said:

“Our apprentice, Georgina took on the challenge of working from home during the pandemic and successfully navigated herself around the switchboard and relevant duties, using her initiative and her great work ethic. One of the attributes I’m most proud about is her tenacity; she never gives up until she succeeds!”

She added: “Apprenticeships enable us to create a pipeline of versatile and loyal skilled workers that supports our Talent Management Strategy, which prepares our staff to meet the current and future requirements of the business more effectively. Apprentices are normally young people, who often bring new ideas, energy, and up to date IT skills into the business, improving the way the business works.”

Those interested in becoming an apprentice can visit www.bsdc.ac.uk/become-an-apprentice for more information and details of current vacancies. Employers interested in finding out more about employing an apprentice within their organisation should visit www.bsdc.ac.uk/hire-an-apprentice.

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