• Fri. May 24th, 2024

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IT service provider feeds dynamic growth with tailored IT apprenticeship programme

CaptureAspire Technology Solutions has grown over the last five years from 15 to 83 staff working closely with training provider Baltic Training Services to help support its IT apprenticeship programme.

Heworth Hall based Aspire offers a broad IT solutions service for businesses ranging from total outsourcing of the IT function to development, installation and maintenance of specific in-house IT and communications applications for its growing list of clients.

From national printer Alpha Graphics to the Royal Household and even the Labour Party Aspire now has an impressive list of clients both large and small across the UK.

Aspire Technology’s operation manager Tony Dougan is responsible for the organisation and growth of the support department, customer services and internal development.

He said: “We have experienced steep growth particularly in the last five years and it is important that this is supported by a recruitment programme that develops our employees over the long haul. Our skilled and committed employees are brought through the ranks and with training and support are able to progress.

“Not only does this ensure we are able to offer great career progression for the right calibre employee but also that our clients experience excellent service which taken together is a powerful business proposition.

“Baltic Training Services has played an important role in our apprenticeship programme identifying people who are relevant to our culture and offering training and support alongside ours once they’ve been recruited.”

In the last two years Aspire has recruited six apprentices through Baltic Training Services all of whom are still with the business at various levels and stages of their careers ranging from junior IT apprentices to fully qualified front line service desk analysts and field service engineers.

Mr Dougan said: “We have apprentices rotating through different departments and areas every two weeks exposing them to service desk, using software, going out with our engineers to clients’ premises, where they are of course heavily supervised. We’ve found doing it this way our apprentices learn much quicker.

“Because we’ve found that having a driving license has been so important to each apprentice’s development because of client visits, we are working with Baltic Training to come up with an incentive scheme that will result in apprentices getting subsidised lessons if they pass within a certain time frame.”

Scott Urwin senior business development manager at Newton Aycliffe based Baltic Training Services said: “I work closely with Tony and visit him to discuss individuals’ development. Each apprentice is committed to at least a week’s course work and training every six weeks with access to one of our trainers. I then visit Tony every three months to discuss overall requirements and how things are progressing.

“With Aspire’s growth and specific needs it’s important their apprenticeships are specifically tailored for the challenging client facing environments Aspire needs them for.”

Kieran Spruce, 19, from Sunderland, has been with the business over a year and is now a qualified service desk engineer after starting as an IT apprentice in 2014.

He said: “I decided to leave the sixth form and instead become an IT apprentice and I’ve been able to achieve industry recognised vocational qualifications, gain invaluable work experience and embark on a paid career with a great employer.”

Kieran decided a year into his A-levels that sixth form was not for him.

“I wanted to gain life skills and train on the job whilst being paid; my IT apprenticeship through Baltic Training Services at Aspire Technology Solutions has done that.

“Under supervision I’ve been able to go out and visit clients, get a real understanding of problem solving, deal with customers on the phone at the same time as completing course modules for my Level 3 IT apprenticeship.

“The way Aspire is structured I always have access to someone for ongoing queries; for every four people there is always a team leader. I am also regularly assessed and guided through my apprenticeship modules by a Baltic trainer.

“The modules give you brief insight into each topic, for example customer service, IT networking, how to manage projects or write a site domain.

“Next, with my employers blessing and continued support from Baltic Training, I will be looking to sit the Windows 10 Microsoft exam. I am very lucky that such in demand vocational qualifications have been made available through my job.”

Ryan Dobson, 19, from Wallsend is currently completing his level 3 apprenticeship at Aspire and was recruited after seeing an advert online.

“Baltic originally got in contact and interviewed me for an apprenticeship at a different company before Tony Dougan interviewed me at Aspire.

“I really like the fact I can learn at my desk on my own computer at work using Baltic’s online training packages via webinar whilst at the same time working at Aspire. It’s much less disruptive than having to go to a classroom.”

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