This week we’re celebrating National Apprenticeship week by reflecting on the success of the ANS Academy since it was established almost 4 years ago.
At ANS we’ve always championed apprenticeships and are now proud to be actively leading the way in nurturing young talent. We believe that the technology sector has the opportunity to set the precedent for apprenticeships, given that the UK’s digital industry may face serious skills deficit problems in the future.
In response to this, back in 2013, we launched the apprentice academy to create more vocational opportunities for young people in the IT sector. Since then, the Academy has matured from an early goal of providing 12 months’ work based training to young people, to now offering a 3-year course at the cutting edge of technology which combines training, workshops, customer site visits and job shadowing to 59 apprentices.
2016 was a milestone year for the academy. We saw a sudden increase in participation as we welcomed 48 new apprentices on-board. They had previously been enrolled in training schemes at software organisation, Bright Futures, prior to its collapse in January 2016. We couldn’t ignore the stricken apprentices and vowed to help as many as we could to finish their Level 3 qualifications.
Last year the centre was also granted recognition by leading qualifications brand, Pearson Education meaning we have been able to offer our apprentices the opportunity to pursue world-class qualifications including the BTEC ICT up to Level 4, in addition to traditional subjects such as English and Mathematics.
We’ve always considered the Academy to be part of, not separate to, the rest of our organisation and this ethos has enabled each and every one of our apprentices to have a profound impact on the success of ANS. Not only do our apprentices contribute massively to our culture, they also have the power to aid new business opportunities. Feedback from customers maintains that due to the IT skills shortage, they are excited to hear about organisations doing everything in their power to develop IT opportunities for young people. In addition, our Managed Services are powered by our highly skilled apprentices. The Service Desk has won multiple awards for their outstanding service to our customers. These awards include NetApp Service Partner 2013/14/15/16, differentiating ANS from competitors.
James O’Toole started with the ANS Academy two weeks after completing secondary school education. James explains how the Academy provided a structured career path:
“I’ve progressed through the business and onto a structured career path that will lead me to become a Service Manager. I received the Managed Services Rising Star award and every-day I learn from my peers, allowing me to progress at an accelerated rate.”
Looking to the future, we hope to expand our apprenticeship opportunities in both technical and non-technical areas of the business. We already offer apprenticeships in our Business Support, Sales Operations, Finance and Contracts and Procurement teams and hope to expand our offerings to other departments.
Discover more about our range of apprenticeship opportunities here.
Posted by Paul Shannon