From education to employment

A Digital Apprenticeship could be just the thing post #ALevel or #GCSE #ResultsDay

As the A-level results come out this month, youngsters are no doubt thinking about their future career paths –and one way could be to take up a Digital Apprenticeship.

Cameron Warwick from Royal Wootton Bassett is about to become the new face of a campaign by Swindon based BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, to get more people to sign up for Digital Apprenticeships. 

Cameron is currently a junior technical engineer and he says IT has an image problem: “A lot of people think IT is very office-based and involves sitting at computers, in front of a monitor – which is definitely not the case. The industry that we work in means we are constantly out on sites and being hands-on plugging things in, but the job is also a combination of the physical and the technical.” 

The twenty-year old works for Etherlive a specialist events company that provides technology such as Wi-Fi, telephony, CCTV and live video links at music festivals such as WOMAD in Malmesbury, along with The RHS Chelsea Flower Show and The Royal Windsor Horse Show to name a few of the places they have been this summer.

Cameron is currently a level 3 apprentice, and is working towards completing his level 4, where he will gain a certificate of higher education (CertHE).

He explains why he loves his job: “The best bit is going out and about travelling with the company – we go to so many different sites, so many parts of the country – that I personally don’t think I would ever have gone to out of choice. It’s generally really friendly and it’s great to meet new people as well’.

Chris Green, the Managing Director of Etherlive, explained the benefits of having an apprentice:

“Cameron joined us just over a year ago as an apprentice and he has had a rapid learning cycle in terms understanding what we do from a technological point of view, and also understanding how events work.

“He’s been a fantastic apprentice in terms of the rate he has developed and learnt how sites work, how to get stuff done and solving problems – all the typical challenges in our world.

“It’s got to the point now that after a year he’s capable of going out and running events on his own and looking after some fairly big sites.”

Cameron recently spent the weekend being filmed and photographed at the WOMAD music festival for a promotional video for BCS to dispel the idea that working in IT is dull and to attract more people to this career.    

Annette Allmark, Head of Apprenticeships at BCS, said:

“Digital apprenticeships are proving increasingly popular. Many young people these days are looking to do an apprenticeship as they follow a structured programme of training, can immediately apply their learning in the workplace and earn a wage at the same time. Apprenticeships are a partnership between the apprentice, employer and usually an external training provider such as an independent company, college or university.”

“What advice would Cameron give to someone looking for a Digital Apprenticeship? “My advice would be to get on out there, see what apprenticeships are on offer. The best thing that I’ve taken advantage of, with being a BCS apprentice, is both the educational side – I’m being taught many new skills – plus the whole experience of working on the job.”

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