01 Aug 2012

Apprenticeship Journey Part.1

  • Apprenticeships

I first thought about an apprenticeship when I was reading the local newspaper. I saw that local software house Light Speed IT Solutions were recruiting for apprenticeships in all aspects of web based design and development. I have always wanted to get involved in web design but unfortunately when I left school my sixth form college wouldn’t allow me to study the relevant course because I didn’t get high enough grades in Science and Maths. The criteria was GCSE B in both Science and Maths however I only achieved grade C. By this point I didn’t see any point in going to sixth form college because I wasn’t allowed to study the course I wanted to. I had already got a part time job in retail and shortly afterwards I had 2 part time jobs and I loved it so earning money became a massive draw over studying for qualifications that I wasn’t interested in. 9 years later I was still working in retail and although I was extremely successful in my progression I couldn’t see anywhere to go so I took the leap and applied for the apprenticeship position at Light Speed IT Solutions to which I was successful.

Everything was on track and I was due to start work when the learning provider let us down by oversubscribing themselves and not being able to gain the government funding. After a frantic phone call from LSITS office manager Jackie we had to find a new learning provider that could provide the support for me and Light Speed. I started off by phoning the apprenticeships helpline for some support on where to go next and they advised me to have a look at their website which provides details of learning providers where I could study my chosen course: City and Guilds ICT Professional. I rang several learning providers to seek help and after several answer phones many colleges were only taking on new apprentices in September until I came across Lota Training Witham. I spoke to a very helpful lady who quickly signed me up and arranged a meeting between me, Light Speed and my future assessor.

During a second meeting with my assessor we discussed which course units were best suited to my future goal as well as the units that best applied the Light Speed’s skills and knowledge because after all the guys at Light Speed were going to coach me through my apprenticeship. The apprenticeship is broken down into units that are scored as credits and you have to choose the correct amount of units to make a total of 72. This includes 2 mandatory units studying ‘Health & Safety’ and ‘Developing Own Professionalism and Effectiveness.’

Each unit is broken down into learning outcomes and the aim is to provide evidence that you understand each outcome. To demonstrate that this you have to write explanations and if required, screenshot every step you do to explain to your assessor and external verifier that you understand the learning outcomes. Along the way it’s important to ask colleagues to witness your work, ask them to sign it and gain written feedback because this evidence can all be used in other units i.e. developing own professionalism and effectiveness.

The apprenticeship has another part to it which requires technical knowledge of ICT so for this section you have to choose another 2 units to make up the credit amount of 24, these units require evidence in the exact same way as previous section but then they also consist of a timed exam.

I have been studying the course for over 2 months now and I love it. One thing I have learned: if you want something then go for it and don’t allow your current success to get in your way because nothing lasts forever!

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