Leading global IT provider Computacenter is looking to recruit 18 IT apprentices across two offices in Milton Keynes. This is an ongoing requirement, which has already resulted in the recruitment of 123 apprentices in the last 18 months.
The roles are for IT service personnel providing first line support through the company’s global service desk to a long list immediately recognisable customers.
Computacenter is keen to reward the brightest IT talent in the region. In the last six months alone, over 60 young people have come through the programme and into full-time work at the company.
Cllr Liz Gifford, Milton Keynes Council Cabinet Member whose responsibilities include skills and economic growth, said: “It’s always good to see new businesses thriving in Milton Keynes, particularly when they are offering apprenticeships to applicants, from a variety of backgrounds, many of them facing a variety of challenges.
“And of course there will always be a need for good IT people.”
As well as gaining valuable workplace experience in IT and customer service, the apprentices will gain the qualifications needed to kick start their career, with on-site training delivered by Computacenter partner, Baltic Training Services.
Once the 12 month training period is completed, apprentices have the prospect of a full-time role with Computacenter, with a competitive starting salary.
Cheryl Hancock, Baltic Training’s account manager based at Computacenter in Milton Keynes said, “We work in close partnership with Computacenter to ensure we’re providing highly motivated and appropriately trained young people to fill their apprenticeship vacancies.
“We’ve experienced great success so far in working together to create 123 jobs in IT for young people in the Milton Keynes area and are looking forward to continuing to provide career opportunities to talented individuals in the region.”
To make sure an apprenticeship is the right choice for their applicants, Computacenter organise a two week pre-apprenticeship hub, where young people can get a feel for the role they’ll be doing and how the training will be delivered. From this, the most suitable candidates are placed on their global service desk to begin their training.
Louise Fletcher, global operations manager at Computacenter, said: “We have a close working relationship with Baltic Training Services which has resulted in us working together to create an excellent apprenticeship feeder system. It provides us with a regular supply of appropriately qualified and highly motivated individuals who are immediately able to start work when they’ve completed the programme.”
The paid apprenticeship includes over £20,000 worth of training and qualifications, including: Level 3 Diploma in ICT Professional Competence, Level 3 Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles, Implementing an ICT Systems Security Policy, CompTIA Network +, CompTIA A+ parts 1 and 2, and Level 2 Functional Skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT if needed.
Computacenter is Europe’s leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services, enabling users and their business. We advise organisations on IT strategy, implement the most appropriate technology, optimise its performance, and manage our customers’ infrastructures. In doing this we help CIOs and IT departments in enterprise and corporate organisations maximise productivity and the business value of IT for internal and external users.
Rooted in core European countries, Computacenter combines global reach with local expertise.
Kreston Edghill, Computacenter Apprentice
17 year old Kreston Edghill, from Milton Keynes, has recently been named runner-up in the support category of Microsoft’s Apprentice of the Year 2016 competition – which aims to celebrate exceptional talent – coming second out of 6,000 UK IT apprentices.
Following the results Kreston said, “I was really pleased to place in the Microsoft Apprentice of the Year competition because it shows that all of the hard work I’ve put in towards a career in IT has been recognised.
“The fact that it was my managers who nominated me makes it even better, because I know that they can see the effort that I make on a day-to-day basis and it’s great to see that they appreciate the work that the apprentices do.”
Kreston is coming to the end of his apprenticeship with Computacenter and works as a first line technical analyst delivering support to the staff of a globally-recognised bank, in order to complete the practical side of his qualification.
He said: “I was never overly interested in IT. I can work my phone and laptop on a day-to-day basis and could fix any common problems using troubleshooting programmes and online tutorials, but it’s not something I ever saw myself doing for a living.
“When I was leaving school I knew that I wanted to do an apprenticeship because I would rather be doing something practical. I saw a vacancy advertised through Computacenter and thought I would apply to see what it was like.
“The pre-apprenticeship hub was great because it gave me a chance to see what the role involved and how the training would be delivered before I committed to the role. Even though some people in the classroom were really technically minded and had a lot of experience in IT, the hub put my mind at ease by creating a level playing field.
“With the apprenticeship you can learn at your own speed. It doesn’t matter if you already know loads about IT, or if like me you don’t have as much experience, because the course is designed to teach you the skills you need to do your job.
“I was sitting the same exams as the apprentices that already knew a lot about IT and knew the answers already, but because of the training delivered by Computacenter and Baltic Training Services I felt prepared and that I knew everything I needed to so that I could pass.”
He said: “The role itself involves a lot of customer service as well as the IT side of things. I basically act as the first point of contact to support the staff by either fixing the problem if it’s something simple, or passing their query to the relevant person to get it resolved. I’ve also started becoming involved with some pro-active project work which I’m really enjoying.”
Jake Parker, Computacenter employee and former apprentice
Jake Parker, 20, has already experienced success after completing Computacenter’s IT apprenticeship programme last year.
Jake suffers from congenital myopathy, which means that he has to plan his days very carefully or risk subjecting himself to agonising bone breaks that could result in being house-bound for weeks. Muscle weakness means he also cannot walk unaided too far without tiring.
Last year, his employer Computacenter and training provider Baltic Training Services supported him by organising a fund raiser, identifying some existing funds and by generally being proactive in removing barriers to help get Jake a high-tech wheelchair worth several thousand pounds that makes him much more mobile.
Ever since then Jake has been working full-time as a first line analyst for Computacenter, offering IT service desk solutions to clients. As a result of the on-site full time IT apprenticeship he has managed to pass his driving test and buy himself a specialised car.
He said:If I didn’t pick up opportunities, like the apprenticeship, I wouldn’t be in the fortunate position that I’m in. The support I’ve received from Computacenter and Baltic Training Services is fantastic. They’ve opened up a world of possibility for me and without them I wouldn’t have my chair or my car, which has greatly improved my independence.
“Not many people my age have a career, a car and a company that is willing to help you. I hope by living my life the way I am I can inspire other people who perhaps are living with a long-term condition.
“For a 20 year old to have such a supportive family, employer and training provider; I know I’m very, very lucky.”
Jake is aiming to become a manager with Computacenter by this time next year and is looking forward to a long and successful career in IT.
Lee Fuller, Computacenter Apprentice
Lee Fuller, 18, from Milton Keynes, is keeping IT in the family and following in his two older brothers’ footsteps by completing an IT apprenticeship.
He said: “I’ve always known that I wanted a career in IT, and after seeing the success of my brothers it spurred me on to do well.”
Lee’s older brothers have both forged successful careers in IT after completing their own apprenticeships, with one following his career to Dubai, and the other working as a corporate accounts manager at a large IT firm in the UK.
Lee missed out on his pre-apprentice hub as he was on holiday last year when it was taking place. He said: “Computacenter were really accommodating and instead of going through the hub they let me come in and shadow some of the apprentices that were already there to see if it was still the route I wanted to take.”
Lee hopes to be just as successful as the rest of his family and is coming to the end of his apprenticeship with Computacenter, where he works as a first line analyst for a multinational financial services corporation.
He said: “On a day-to-day basis my job involves solving IT problems that their staff encounter. I’ve also taken on some extra responsibilities like managing the call queues and taking care of the escalation process.”
”I’ve always been interested in IT and that’s where my future is. In my spare time I’ve been looking at doing more qualifications to help on my career path, including learning how to code.
“I enjoy developing myself and think the apprenticeship with Computacenter was the ideal way for me to complete my qualifications and get