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Derby IT Firm Celebrates Apprenticeship Success As Academy Reaches Its First Year

A Derby-based IT solutions firm, is celebrating the first year of its thriving academy in collaboration with Derby College. 

Friar Gate-based RDS Global has been running its apprenticeship scheme via the RDS Academy in collaboration with Derby College since 2018 – and with seven full-time employees having already graduated from the Academy, the future looks to be very bright indeed.

Andy Flinn, CEO at RDS Global, is in no doubt about the value of a properly managed apprenticeship programme. 

He said: “Promoting apprenticeship schemes through a publically supported National Apprenticeships Week is a great idea because of the commercial value it creates. 

“Our work with Derby College enables us to retain the best and brightest people by offering them real-world career opportunities that they think can only be found in London or Manchester – and that’s as valuable for us as it is for them.”

One such person is Brandon Bariana (20). He began his 34-week programme with the Academy during his Level 2 BTEC at Derby College and, by his own admission, he was surprised that a company like RDS Global was interested in committing its time and resources to IT students. 

He said: “I originally thought I’d work in support, but in addition to hands-on experience, the RDS Academy gave me a fresh perspective on the options. 

“The more I got exposed to engineering, the more I realised it was exactly the channel I wanted to pursue. We were able to tweak what I was learning to encompass that and I’m now a full-time Apprentice Infrastructure Engineer.

“I’d like to gain more experience here and eventually take on a head of department role – and I feel like I’m perfectly placed to achieve that.” 

National Apprenticeships Week, which runs from February 3rd to February 9th is designed to encourage parents, teachers, employers and young people to ‘Look Beyond’, and to celebrate the diversity and value that apprenticeships can bring to employers, apprentices and communities.

It’s an initiative closely in line with the principles that drive the RDS Academy. Andy points out: “The people who come through our academy fit right in with us. We get to identify their skillsets; we get to put them in exactly the role that suits their abilities; and we get to make sure they’re active and valuable team members from the very first day they join.” 

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