From education to employment

Student lands cyber security role with NHS

Rahim Arif with Emily Byrnes, programme leader for Level 3 IT and Degree Apprenticeships at Coleg Llandrillo, and Andrew Scott, programme leader for Degree Apprenticeships

Coleg Llandrillo student Rahim Arif has secured a role in cyber security with the NHS after successfully applying for a degree apprenticeship.

Rahim will learn on the job with the NHS, while also studying one day a week at the college’s Rhos campus.

The dynamic course structure means students can earn a degree from Bangor University without having to pay tuition fees, while staying in employment.

Rahim, from Llandudno, has been a student at Coleg Llandrillo for three years, and has just completed his Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT.

The 19-year-old starts his new role with the NHS next month, and will return to college in September to begin his degree apprenticeship in Applied Cyber Security.

He said: “The reason I decided to go down the route of a degree apprenticeship is because I’ll be exposed to the real-world experience of using IT while getting my degree.

“It will be very rewarding to work for the NHS and do something that helps society – that was one of the main reasons that drew me to it.”

Rahim and his mum moved to Llandudno three years ago, after he finished high school in Greater Manchester. He hadn’t achieved the grades he needed in high school, but at Coleg Llandrillo he found the perfect environment to achieve his goals.

“I have been resilient and hard-working throughout my journey at college,” he said. “I struggled academically at high school and did not manage to get the desired grades.

“Through college’s guidance and support I managed to put an action plan in place to progress towards my educational goal. I had great tutors who believed in me and that gave me the confidence that I can do better despite my dyslexia.”

Rahim studied Level 2 IT practitioners, before gaining a distinction in his Level 3 Foundation Diploma in IT the following year. He also successfully resat his Maths and English GCSEs with the college before moving onto his Extended Diploma in IT last year.

He said of his time in North Wales: “I’ve really enjoyed it. I love the scenery and the landscape in North Wales. The facilities at the college are amazing – I’ve had great teachers and the support I’ve received has been fantastic.”

Rahim had this advice for anyone studying at the college or thinking of applying: “Make use of all the resources you have and work extremely hard. One of the main things I did was doing lots of past papers.

“Have good communication with the tutors and collaborate with them about ideas, getting their advice and taking as many notes as possible.

“When you’ve got that good communication it can help you so much with your exams and your coursework. The tutors are always willing to help so make use of it.”

Andrew Scott, programme leader for Degree Apprenticeships at Coleg Llandrillo, said:

“Rahim is a very dedicated young man and it will continue to be a pleasure to have him enrolled with us. Rahim always tries his best and deserves every opportunity he has worked for. Well done.”

There are three IT degree apprenticeships available at Coleg Llandrillo – Applied Cyber Security, Applied Software Engineering and Applied Data Science.

Degree apprenticeships can add immense value to businesses as well as offering students the chance to achieve a degree while they work.

Employers gain a highly upskilled employee with both the academic and practical skills required to advance the workforce.

Students will be in paid employment with an employer, while studying one full day and one evening per week. The degree apprenticeships are fully-funded – meaning learners gain valuable work experience and achieve an industry-relevant degree at no cost.

For more information about the range of degree apprenticeships available at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, click here.

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