UKFast has been awarded an ‘outstanding’ classification by Ofsted, the UK’s education regulator, for the fantastic quality of our apprenticeship programme. This makes us the only tech company in the North of England to have received the commendation and one of only two in the whole of the UK.
Of course, we’re absolutely delighted by the news. It’s a true testament to the remarkable team we have and the apprentices we’ve welcomed through our doors over the years.
UKFast is built on apprentices – many of our brightest and best employees started their careers by walking through the doors of our apprenticeship scheme. But we’re not stopping there – we have bold plans to continue to make our apprenticeships ‘Outstanding’ in future too.
Our apprenticeship programme was first launched in 2018 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. Over that time, we’ve welcomed almost 100 apprentices into the company – many of whom have gone on to lead fantastic careers at UKFast since graduating.
From day one, our apprentices are treated as valued members of the UKFast team and given real opportunities to learn on the job. Through our on-site training centre, apprentices follow a structured curriculum that blends academic rigour, vendor support and practical learning.
We take the attitude that every young person who joins us has something new and innovative to offer the company – and it’s our job to harness, nurture and unlock that potential. That’s one of the reasons a staggering 79% of our apprentices finish their course with a distinction, against a national average for higher grades of 29%.
This approach was commended by Ofsted in our recent inspection. We were assessed across four assessment areas: Quality of Education, Professional Development, Behaviour and Attitudes, and Leadership and Management, receiving an outstanding grade in all four.
Ultimately, the Ofsted report itself summed it up pretty nicely: “Senior leaders and staff are very ambitious for their apprentices. Apprentices who study here do exceptionally well.”
We certainly couldn’t put it any better than that.
Of course, it’s really great to have received such a glowing endorsement for our scheme, but that’s not really why we do it. For us, it’s about watching our apprentices graduate and go on to lead successful careers rising through the ranks at UKFast. As the report said “All apprentices go on to be successful and move into permanent or promoted posts within the company.”
Just take Lucy Bracken for instance – one of our best examples of success in action. She turned down the opportunity to go to university in 2018 and decided instead to join our apprenticeship programme. She had very little technical experience but knew this was the job for her and was willing to work incredibly hard to make it a reality.
Since then, she’s aced several technical exams, passed her own apprenticeship with distinction, become a team leader, and proceeded to onboard the next generation of apprentices. Through the pandemic, she managed the UKFast-Desk team – a remote working solution that roughly doubled in users.
Lucy’s a fantastic example of why the UKFast apprenticeship scheme exists – and there’s plenty more like her. Some of the best and brightest in the company started their careers as apprentices, and we simply wouldn’t be the company we are today without them.
That’s why we’re getting even more ambitious. We’re joining forces with our new sister firm, ANS, to create the largest and most comprehensive digital academy in the North of England. This provides more opportunities for apprentices to join us and learn from some of the best tech experts in the UK.
To find out more about UKFast’s apprenticeship programme