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North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

PROFILE: Joe Layden, Network Engineering Apprentice at Connexin

ByChloe Smith

Mar 18, 2019

17 year old Joe has always had an interest in technology, but previously wanted to go into the military. After completing work experience at smart technology specialist, Connexin during his time at school, he was attracted to variety of projects the business works on, using technology to improve people’s lives.

As traditional formal education didn’t really appeal to him, the idea of an apprenticeship was the perfect option for him – straight into paid work, whilst earning a qualification and avoiding the potential costs associated with university.

The Connexin apprenticeship was particularly appealing given its unique place in the industry and the variety of projects it is running – currently the only business building Smart Cities in the region. From smart security and parking to smart health, the business uses tech solutions to make life better for thousands of people.

Based in Hull, Joe has had the opportunity to work on projects across the entire Northern Powerhouse region from Leeds to Manchester, working on anything from datacentres, to wireless networks, he now has a strong understanding of how the Internet of Things works.

“Connexin is a great example of the amazing technological developments and opportunities available in the Northern Powerhouse. I’m really proud to be part of what’s happening right now – I’m getting opportunities that I just wouldn’t get elsewhere.

“We all stick together and have the same goal: promote the north and make life easier.”

Joe joined straight from school but had spent some timing working in warehousing and the RAF, in more admin roles, nothing that compares to Connexin.

“I love the fact that one day I can be working on a parking project and another day it could be something like bins. Every day is completely different so I’m always learning.”

Whilst he pursued a Level 2 rather than 3 qualification, the strong start to his apprenticeship has put him on an ambitious career path. He is already embarking on a five-year career development plan and believes this entry-level start will benefit him in the long run. He is being supported to complete additional training and work towards further qualifications including project management and an IOSH safety management course. He has already achieved a Working at Heights qualification.

“I’ve already achieved and experienced a lot in such a short time, so I have a clear sight of what’s possible for me.

“I know plenty of people who have only been able to complete their specific course content, whereas I’ve gotten so much more. The additional qualifications I’m gaining will be great for my CV and future career.


Founded in Hull in 2006, Connexin is an innovative and disruptive technology company specialising in building and operating award-winning smart city infrastructure to support the Internet of Things.

Connexin’s mission is to connect people and things to the internet, working in partnership, with local authorities, global technology companies and specialist technology providers to build metropolitan carrier-grade networks and smart city infrastructure.

Proudly based in the north of England, Connexin was recently announced winners of the IoT Breakthrough Award for Smart City Deployment of the year, for the Newcastle Smart Road pilot.

Named as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Technology firms in the Northern Tech Awards, Connexin is in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ELITE network of high-growth companies.