Connoll is connecting with his apprenticeship.

This week is National Apprenticeship Week, during which employers and apprentices from across England come together to celebrate the success of apprenticeships while encouraging even more people to recognise apprenticeships as the pathway to a great career.

Connoll Egan-Savage is a Service Desk Apprentice at Great Places Housing Group, in the Business Systems Team. He joined Great places in November 2016 and is really enjoying the experience. Here, he gives us a snap shot of what his role involves and how the apprenticeship will hopefully provide a springboard for his career.

How did your apprenticeship with Great Places come about?
I got in touch with an apprenticeship provider called NowSkills. They asked what I was interested in doing and after I explained I wanted to work in IT they lined me up an interview with Great Places. We did a few mock interviews which made me feel more confident beforehand, then a few days after my second interview I got the call to say I had got my apprenticeship – I was so happy.

What does your job involve?
My job as a Service Desk Apprentice involves a variety of things. First of all I answer support calls to try and get colleagues back up and working again as soon as possible if they are experiencing problems, and I also log these calls. I also manage the mobiles phones and tablets meaning I set up all of these for our 600+ colleagues, as well as managing printer cards for people, and much more!

How did the college work fit around the day job?
My college work was broken up into three to four-week blocks so basically I would to go to college for up to four weeks at a time. When I came back to the business I would apply my knowledge to the work I was doing. The qualification I got was a Level 3 BTEC Diploma in IT which was coursework based. Along with this the college allowed me to do an MTA  (Microsoft certification) in Networking Fundamentals.

How does the training fit around the day job?
The training helped me massively and it gave me more of an understanding of how the things I was doing worked. Instead of just knowing how to fix an issue I started to understand why it worked the way it did. It really boosted my confidence and my knowledge.

What’s the best part of your role?
The variety. No day is the same - there are new issues that occur all the time and I can learn how to solve these and expand my knowledge at the same time. The variety helps as some days I will be on service desk answering calls and logging jobs, then the next I could be spending the day setting up some Thin Client machines. Also I enjoy helping people out with any issue, big or small!

Would you recommend doing an apprenticeship to others?
Yes, definitely! Apprenticeships are useful because they help prepare you for a job, giving you a hands-on approach so instead of just learning the theory of how to do things you can apply the knowledge practically in a working environment.

What do you hope will happen as a result of your apprenticeship with Great Places?
I am hoping to continue on with my progress and further improve my IT knowledge, whether that be here or elsewhere. I am enjoying the work I am doing and hope it continues!

Any other comments on your apprenticeship?
I have really enjoyed my apprenticeship as I have learned so much in a short amount of time and I still have much more to learn. It’s really improved my confidence as I know that I can handle issues on my own!

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