Apprenticeship Case Study – Shooters Hill Sixth Form College

Shooters Hill Sixth Form College is a large mixed further education college for students aged 16 – 20 in Greenwich. Since 2012 they have supported a total of 12 apprentices and currently have 2 on Apprenticeship schemes. Theo Yianni, Technical Services Delivery Manager gave his insight on what it has been like working with apprentices.

Why did you choose to have an apprentice?

As a college we understand how hard it can be for young people to get their foot in the door of the industry of their choice. We like working with apprentices as it allows us to introduce young people from the local area into IT. It’s beneficial for us an employer and with the introduction of the Levy fund, working with apprentices continues to be a cost-effective resource for the school whilst gaining 1st Level IT Support.

What’s it like working with an apprentice?

Our apprentices have integrated really well into the staff. It can be tricky at times as some of our students can be older than our apprentices but they have kept a professional attitude to their work and become part of the team. We don’t treat them as 16-18 year old’s, they are full time staff and they get treated as such.

What kind of work are the apprentices doing?

Our apprentices work as the 1st Line of Support in IT. They interact with everyone in the office, responding to service desk requests, gaining experience on the front desk and answering phones.

How do you think they have changed from when they joined as an apprentice to when they finish their apprenticeship?

When apprentices join us they are quite shy and not very confident in themselves or their work. It’s amazing to see them develop and transform themselves during their apprenticeship and complete the programme as confident IT engineers.

What do you think some of their greatest achievements have been?

A few of our apprentices have gone on to work for large organisations such as Playstation. It’s an incredible journey to go from not having much experience to move on to a serious role in such a reputable organisation within 18 months and we are glad we can be part of that journey.

What has the school learnt from having apprentices?

We have learnt what a great addition they can be to the team and try to employ them wherever we can in the school. The school has found having apprentices such a success that we introduced apprentices into different departments. We started with IT apprentices in 2012 and now offer apprenticeships in Digital Marketing, Business Development and Sport departments. It’s taught us how successful young people can become by choosing an apprenticeship instead of the traditional University route. The advantages are clear to us and we are communicating that with our own students.

Do you have any advice for other employers looking to join the apprenticeship programme?

It’s important to remember not to judge candidates on technical experience alone. When we look for apprentices we want to see that they are willing to learn and eager for knowledge. We want to shape and develop the person through the apprenticeship. It’s a learning experience for everyone involved, everyone should give it a shot!

How has it been working with Just IT as a training provider?

We have had a great experience with Just IT. Our Account Manager has been a great help, he is easy to contact and answer any questions we have efficiently. We have noticed a much higher level of service compared to other training providers, especially regarding the speed and selection of CV’s we are sent.

Think the apprenticeship scheme might be for you? Call a member of our team on 020 7426 9835