Apprenticeships – the next best thing?

With the daunting question of “what next?” looming over A Level students, the question stands as to whether apprenticeships are a viable alternative for current students in comparison to university, as well as companies eager to expand their workforce. Apprenticeships have now evolved exponentially alongside the attitude towards them, and they are now being seen as a replacement of conventional higher education.

At one stage an apprenticeship existed purely for the trades – plumbing, roofing, etc, however the development of schemes within companies has allowed the market to be opened for a lot more opportunities. At Silicon Practice this year we have fully embraced this opportunity and strongly believe in the benefits of on-the-job learning to better your future. After speaking with our Operations Director Jane Oddy, she has provided some insight into how we feel on the subject:

“We are growing our business and have decided that we need to have a mix of experienced professionals and also inexperienced people who we can develop and immerse into our ethos.  

There are a number of business benefits in selecting an apprenticeship programme, but the key advantage to Silicon Practice is that it is helping us to improve the breadth of skills we have in our company. We are finding that coaching new people is encouraging us to look at the way we do things which has led to us making improvements in our processes and way we work as a team.  The apprentices we have selected are eager to learn, their commitment is second to none and their work has been outstanding.”

We have now recruited two apprentices in our company. Erin is our Business Administration Apprentice and is receiving mentoring from our Office Manager Charlotte. Charlotte is extremely positive about our apprenticeship scheme, stating:

“My experience so far with having a Business Administration Apprentice has been nothing but positive. I think that apprenticeship courses are an excellent way of gaining skills, knowledge, and learning whilst gaining relevant workplace experience.  Erin is enthusiastic, hands-on, and has already made a huge contribution to the team.  By employing an apprentice, we have been able to provide training that is appropriate and relevant to our company and our future plans.”

We are also lucky to have Nathan our Apprentices DevOps Engineer on board, too! Nathan enjoys working to consolidate his learning instead of a more structured academic environment, praising the combination of pre-college work and job training.

“You get a feel for the job alongside learning, which helps in understanding the career you have chosen. Also, for me, I enjoy working too much so learning and being able to earn at the same time is very beneficial in my position.”

Whether you are looking for on the job experience, or as a company want to encourage young people to get involved in your business, apprenticeships are an exciting alternative that will be an asset going forward for everyone involved.


Written by Sophie Norman