Apprenticeship case study: Apprentice software engineer at Iress
By Sarah Wood
Gloucestershire College works with Iress to deliver training for its software, IT infrastructure and cyber apprentices. Many apprentices with Iress have gone on to achieve distinctions in their programmes and progress to more senior roles within the company.
Here Ben Carter, apprentice software engineer at Iress, share his experience of what life is like as an apprentice and why he decided to choose the apprenticeship route.
Before starting my apprenticeship at Iress, I was the resident sound technician at Malvern Theatres. I wanted a career change and felt like an apprenticeship was a good way to learn on the job and really kickstart a new career. It was a great opportunity to get my foot in the door.
The interview process felt thorough. It started with an interview at Gloucestershire College to check that I was eligible to take part in the apprenticeship scheme and that my literacy and numeracy skills were of sufficient standard. I then had a telephone interview with Iress, before being invited to an applicant day.
I found the applicant day a really enjoyable experience. As interviews go, it was probably one of the more relaxed I've had in my life! There were approximately 15 candidates and a similar number of existing Iress employees at the location. We started with chatting over coffee before a more formal getting to know you exercise.
We then took part in some team building challenges and then a more standard interview. Next, we had to prepare a presentation on a figure from technology we admire which we presented to the interview panel.
I really enjoy my role at Iress, as no two days are quite the same! I get to work on a range of tasks that could include user interface development or database management. You never stop learning in this environment. I like that as a team we are given time to learn new technologies and have the chance to always upskill. My usual day will often involve some form of pair-programming with another engineer, as well as attending meetings or webinars.
My favourite thing about the apprenticeship is that you are able to learn on the job from other professionals alongside the formal training. Pair-programming with other engineers and discussing the approach is so beneficial, but often our random conversations about technology can increase your knowledge too. It's a great environment to learn.
Over the last year, I have increased my front end development knowledge, learning and using frameworks like Angular, React and Bootstrap. I have teamed this with learning the C# programming knowledge and Microsoft SQL Server. With these skills, I have started my journey to becoming a full stack engineer. I have also improved my confidence over the last year.
Recruit IT and Cyber apprentices with Gloucestershire College
Gloucestershire College offers a broad range of specialist IT and Cyber apprenticeships from Level 3 to degree. Whether your business is looking to recruit new talent or upskill your existing staff with the latest technical knowledge, apprenticeships offer a high quality, affordable training solution for businesses of any size and sector. View all of the IT and Cyber apprenticeships here.
The GC Business Hub team will listen to a business's needs and requirements and advise on the right training programme. Apprenticeship programmes have a range of start dates throughout the year, so get in touch with the Business Hub team to get the ball rolling. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01452 563400.
Apply to become an apprentice
If you are looking for a route into the IT or Cyber industry, an apprenticeship is a great way to train. Open to anyone aged 16+, apply for your chosen apprenticeship programme through Gloucestershire College's website and the college will help find a local employer looking to recruit new talent.
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