Interview with an Apprentice

It’s Apprenticeship Week again and if you follow our blog you’ll remember last year we interviewed our apprentice Audrey, who told us why she chose an apprenticeship and how she was getting on. This year we’re doing it all again but with our new apprentice for 2015 – Robert! We hope this blog will encourage more people to do apprenticeships, particularly in IT which is an industry that is constantly evolving. So without further ado – here’s Robert:

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

The idea of an extra couple of years in a classroom at university didn’t appeal to me at all. In my opinion, I believe employers value genuine work experience much higher than they do a degree (in most – not all cases!). Most courses in IT didn’t pertain to my interests, and I thought a more hands-on approach would appeal to me much more. I also revelled in the idea of independence; earning my own money in order to cover my own expenses from a young age is character building, and instils a sense of freedom.

Why in particular did you choose IT?

Not only has IT been a great interest of mine since a young age, but it’s also a very stable market at the moment. Technology is constantly developing, and if I’m working in a field that’s going forward, the only thing I can do is move forward with it.

What was it about Lucidica that attracted you to the apprenticeship? 

Working for a company whose core focus directly relates to mine was always going to be a great mix. Lucidica’s sole focus is IT, meaning everyone shares the same common interests. As opposed to an IT department within a company, Lucidica is 100% computers which means my learning is oriented entirely around my educational interests.

Explain what you do on a day-today basis

This question should be “what don’t I do on a day to day basis”! An average day here at Lucidica can range from answering the phone, to building and port patching an entire phones system, and from installing a single program on one desktop to rebuilding multiple machines.

How do you think your apprenticeship will benefit your career? Do you think you would be learning the same amount if you’d gone to university?

My apprenticeship has given me the opportunity I need to build the foundation to a long and fruitful career in IT. The fact that I am actively learning and implementing what I learn into my everyday job results in me retaining ten times the amount of knowledge I would if I were to sit in a classroom five days a week. I’d say on average, I learn five new things a day.

What’s your favourite thing about this apprenticeship?

The area of IT I’m working in is exactly relevant to my interests, as opposed to following a curriculum already predetermined.

What’s been the most challenging thing so far?

Balancing my workload with my social life – making the adjustment from college to a full time job has been a difficult (but worthwhile) transition!

Do you find that you’ve changed at all as a person since doing this apprenticeship?

I definitely believe that development has been made in self-responsibility, punctuality and personal organisation. In college, you have the safety net of teachers always there, but out in the working world, you have to learn that you are responsible for yourself and your actions – definitely an important life lesson!

What kind of job do you hope to be doing in the future? How will this apprenticeship get you there?

Network and server management are definitely possible lines I’d like to travel down. The apprenticeship I’m on is teaching me the fundamental skills I’ll need to build upon in order to reach these goals, whilst simultaneously supplying me with invaluable experience.

Did you know that competition for apprenticeships is growing and on average there are 12 applicants for every one advertised? Why do you think more young people these days want to do apprenticeships?

Apprenticeship schemes are receiving a larger push from the government due to the sheer success of the program and idea. The prospect of earning while learning coupled with the very high chance of a permanent job is enticing to the demographic that aren’t overly keen about going to university, such as myself. Apprenticeships are providing a wider audience with career based opportunities.

Finally, do you have any words of advice for young people considering an apprenticeship?

If you have any doubt about going away to university, have a look into what an apprenticeship can provide for you in the career field you’re interested in. The moment you decide an apprenticeship is for you – go for it! Once you’re out in the world, fully working, earning a wage and learning about a subject you’re actually interested in, you definitely won’t regret it.