As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2021, we’d like to introduce you to one of our IQ in IT apprentices. Meet Blake. Blake joined IQ in IT in 2019 on our IT support team. Since he started working with us as an IT apprentice Blake has gained extensive technology skills and is a popular member of our team. As his confidence grew, Blake showed a natural flair for business development. He has recently started a management CMDA degree course at Kingston College. We asked Blake for his thoughts on apprenticeships.
Tell us about your apprenticeship:
I am doing a Management Degree CMDA Apprenticeship. It’s a 5-year degree course with lessons at Kingston College. At the end of the course, I will have a University degree and chartered manager status. I get to combine study with a real job, gaining valuable work experience at the same time as getting my degree qualification.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
At school the focus was on going to University to get a traditional degree. I knew I wanted to study but was worried about graduating with huge debts and no work experience. An apprenticeship helps me to gain formal qualifications while learning in a real-world situation, and without any financial worries at the end of the course.
What do you like about the apprenticeship scheme?
Being able to put theory into practice in real-life work. I have to implement all the things I am learning into my job. This is much more useful than a normal degree where you only learn the theory of something but don’t get to apply it.
With an apprenticeship there is no learning lag, we study current things and apply them to real work situations. If I was doing an ordinary degree course, especially in technology, the technology would have already changed by the time I finished my course. I love that the course content is current and relevant to my job here and now. It’s much more interesting and useful than just reading about something.
What do you most like about your job?
I love that I am always learning something new, and that no day is ever the same. I enjoy the comradery of being part of a great team, we are always sharing ideas and learn from each other all the time. I like talking to our customers and helping them understand and fix problems.
What are the benefits for employers of having an apprentice?
An apprentice can be moulded to be the exact person you need for your business. An apprentice is always ready to learn. Companies can make sure they get the right staff training to suit their company and its customers. An apprentice will have more work experience than someone who has finished a normal degree because they have had to work as well and are good at juggling.
What advice would you give anyone considering an apprenticeship?
Don’t be put off by teachers who don’t know much about apprenticeships, do your research about the course and the provider. It’s a great way to learn while you earn and get a proper degree. There are lots of different courses depending on what you want to do. It can be demanding with a full-time job and studying, so you need to be careful to not burn yourself out.
To find out about apprenticeships at Kingston College visit here: https://stcg.ac.uk/apprenticeships