Apprenticeships have been shining in the media spotlight recently, with many business people – including our own CEO – speaking up about the benefits of gaining experience on the job. Our very own apprentice, Sally, is here to tell you about her experience at UKFast in the first year of her apprenticeship. Read on to find out more!
I love that, as an apprentice, no single day is the same! UKFast is a company that gives you the ability to build your own role. In my case, this means supporting clients on our FASTdesk team as well as organising and running our Star Code Club and going out to schools to talk about my journey from high school to UKFast.
Being able to earn while I learned was one of the main reasons I chose to go down the apprenticeship route. I also knew I wanted to go into the technology industry so I felt that experience in a tech role would be much more valuable than a degree, which was validated by a lot of people I spoke to in the sector.
I also felt that I was in a place where I was ready to leave traditional education and start my career. I went to Sixth Form College and, although I loved school all the way through and considered myself to be an academic student, I knew that I had got everything I needed from the mainstream education system and wanted to move onto a completely new chapter.
Ever since I first heard about UKFast and saw their amazing work environment, I knew I wanted to be part of the team. I also wanted to continue my learning and UKFast has a fab and very experienced training team: it was a no-brainer!
My UKFast highlights are pretty similar to someone in their first year at uni: meeting new friends, going out with the team and learning loads every day. However, my highlights are due to the freedom I have been given to follow my passions at UKFast. I feel strongly about increasing the number of women in STEM careers, particularly women in tech, and I have been given the opportunity to ignite the passion for tech in young girls and women with projects such as the UKFast Digital Challenge Badge that we created in conjunction with Girlguiding. As well as this, I have been able to talk to girls at schools and share my story, inspiring others to take on the apprenticeship challenge.
I’d have to write multiple books if I wanted to tell you everything I’ve learned in my first year with UKFast! The two main and most valuable skills I have learned are 1) knowing when to ask for help, and 2) knowing when you could probably work something out for yourself and doing it! In essence, I have learned how to learn.
The UKFast team (especially Education and Training) take a strengths-based approach to developing young people: if you’re good at something then you will probably be doing it in your job! This means you’re constantly building on your strengths and refining your skills. We also get as much support as we need in areas we may feel we are less strong, that means knowledge and skills are continually improved across the board at UKFast.
If you want to learn, have fun and just be part of something amazing, UKFast is definitely the place to be! There is nothing traditional about it; the programme is bespoke and can be moulded to meet the needs of anyone’s professional development. The difficult question would be, why I wouldn’t recommend it!
Find your passion, find your strengths and, if you do that, you will definitely find your place here.
Want to find out more? Head to the UKFast
apprenticeship open evening.