Meet the GC Experts: Computing Industry Digital Apprenticeships
At GC, training is delivered by practically in College and the workplace; apprentices complete their apprenticeships with not only recognised professional qualifications, but also valuable industry knowledge, skills and behaviours that they can implement in the workplace.
This time, we are catching up with the experts behind GC’s Computing Industry Digital Apprenticeships.
Meet Bob Higgie, Andrew Cracknell and Len Shand; Trainer Assessors for GC’s computing industry digital apprenticeships: Infrastructure Technician, Software Tester, Software Developer Technician, Software Developer, Network Engineer and Cyber Security Technologist.
Between the three of them, they hold an impressive range of qualifications, including degrees in Computer Games and Production, Computer Forensics, Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Ecommerce, as well as HNDs in Digital Electronics and Digital Information Systems, CompTIA, A+ Network and ITIL Foundations.
Bob, Andrew and Len are all passionate about the programmes they deliver, and are constantly developing their own knowledge attending courses and events so they remain at the cutting edge of the computing industry.
Bob shared, “The apprenticeship standards that we deliver are relevant to current technologies and meet the businesses’ needs whilst learners gain valuable skills and competencies. I really enjoy the degree of flexibility we have to deliver training, as the standards allow us to tailor programmes to meet employers’ needs. For example, we could have four Software Developers on the programme all learning different programming languages such as Java Script, C#, Visual Basic. NET and Python depending on what they need with their role.”
Each of our Trainer Assessors has a different background, providing a wealth of experience across different industry sectors.
Andrew commented, “Bob has industry experience in product development and Len spent over 26 years working in telecommunications and electronics fields, whereas my professional background is in consumer electronics retail. Plus, I developed games alongside studying for my BSc at Staffordshire University. Our range of experience means that we possess a variety of specialisms; I focus on Networking, which involves how computers and mobile devices talk to each other.”
GC’s Computing Industry digital apprenticeships combine delivery of the industry certifications in college alongside employer training in the workplace. They are suitable for school leavers who are starting their career in IT, as well as employees who are re-skilling.
Len remarked, “We currently have apprentices from 18 years old up to their mid-thirties; these programmes are suitable for all ages. We guide the employer and the apprentices to achieve a specific goal/competency. Apprentices come to college once every third month for 1 week of intensive training to acquire relevant knowledge, which matches industry standards. We visit the apprentice and employer in the workplace at least once every month to provide further support and ensure that the employer is able to develop the apprentice in the workplace. The training also develops apprentices’ soft skills such as effective communication with customers, suppliers and stakeholders; we see a big development in general responsibility and confidence throughout the programmes.”
All of GC’s Trainer Assessors are passionate about the training that they deliver. We asked them what their favourite thing about their role was:
“I really like the degree of interaction we get to have with employers; it’s great to see apprentices developing in the workplace and gaining confidence as they progress through the programme.” – Bob
“As part of this role, I have been able to attend courses and talks etc to keep my own skills sharp and relevant, which is great.” - Andrew
“It’s great to see apprentices developing in their job, becoming fully trained programmers, technicians and 1st and 2nd line support to add value to their organisation.” - Len
For more information on any of our computing industry digital apprenticeships, click here