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From learning the ropes to holding the fort: An apprentice success story.

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Following Joe’s recent ‘A day in the life of an apprentice’, we thought we’d write an update on how far Joe has come along in the world of IT with us here at JamCrackers. 

We wanted to highlight how apprenticeships can successfully work, for both the apprentice as well as the impact and change a reliable apprentice can have on your business.

​​August 2015

JOE for blog

A young and shy looking 16 year old chap by the name of Joe approached us.  Joe had just finished his exams at Vandyke School and was looking for work experience to learn the ropes within the IT sector.   

It’s safe to say that we liked Joe on sight and snapped him up immediately!

Joe immediately showed promise and motivation by studying all aspects of computer hardware and regularly observing Richard  (Director) with all computer repairs and remote jobs within the office.

Later that year we entered and won The Dunstable and Houghton Regis New Business of the Year Award.  We were very proud to share the experience with our new recruit Joe.

January 2016

 

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Joe started his apprenticeship course at Central Bedfordshire College in January 2016 and embarked on a 2 year IT course with the aim to eventually gain his Level 3 diploma, in *Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals. 

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*This work-based qualification is aimed at learners who are working, or want to work, in the IT and telecommunications industry.  It could lead to employment as a business analyst, computer games designer or technical support person, computer hardware engineer or service technician, internet professional, telecommunications technician, IT product developer, IT technical sales specialist or IT trainer.

Joe continued to study hard throughout the year, but while his knowledge of computer hardware and was expanding, we noticed that he was ill at ease with dealing with clients, both face to face and on the telephone.  We therefore decided to help boost his confidence with some telephone training.   Before long, the very shy and unsure Joe had gained confidence and was dealing with customers over the telephone on a daily basis.  

 

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Joe began learning basic PC / Laptop repairs

Joe excelled in his first year of college by passing: 
Health and Safety in ICT
Customer Care in ICT
Interpersonal and Written Communication
Data Modelling
Data Structures and Algorithms

 

November 2016 was also a very special and busy month

for everyone at JamCrackers.

 

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We relocated from Grovesbury Road to North Street, Leighton Buzzard and we again (crossed our fingers) and entered the Dunstable and Houghton Regis Awards.   We went on to win the Customer Care Excellence Award and Business of the Year. 

Joe won his first Highly Commended Apprentice of the Year.  A very proud moment for all of us at JamCrackers and for Joe and his family.

  

2017

 

By 2017, Joe’s confidence had dramatically grown and he was now dealing face to face with clients and reps.  He also had started on more complex IT repairs, remote jobs and server installations with JamCrackers.  Joe’s passionate attitude towards work and his interest and knowledge in the world of IT support, was really starting to shine through.  Joe had finally found both his voice and confidence and wasn’t afraid to use them!

Joe continued to shine at college by passing: 
Technical Fault Diagnosis
Working with ICT Hardware and Equipment
Investigating and Defining Customer Requirements for ICT Systems
Managing Software Development
Computer Games Development
Creating a Procedural Computer Program
Designing and Developing Procedural Computer Programs
Designing and Developing Event-driven Computer Programs

Joe's work ethic was rewarded in November 2017 when we entered him for the Apprentice of the Year award at the prestigious Dunstable and Houghton Regis - Business and Community Awards and he went on to win!  

 

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2018 

Joe completed and passed his course and officially left college in January 2018.  Joe was then promoted from apprentice to IT Engineer.  

Joe went on to pass his driving test in May 2018 and has since been on a several business related visits.   

Joe now handles remote support and holds the fort within the office on daily basis.  He has grown with JamCrackers and his quest for knowledge and customer satisfaction are still a top priority for him.  We receive an abundance of positive feedback on a regular basis regarding Joe’s IT services, his great personality and kind mannerisms.  We could not be more proud of how far Joe has come along in such a short space of time. 

 

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Joe continues to work with us here at JamCrackers as our IT engineer, where he continues to learn on the job.  We are happy to say that he is now on the road to becoming assistant manager for JamCrackers UK. 


Congratulations on your amazing journey Joe. 

Everyone here at JamCrackers UK are very proud of you. 

Here’s to the next 3 years! 

A Day in the life of an IT Apprentice

Hi there. I’m Joe. IT apprentice to JamCrackers’ UK

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This is my first blog (please be kind).  I thought I’d share my learnt knowledge of what a day in the life of an IT apprentice REALLY is like. Buckle up apprentice friends!

I start every morning with the frustrating task of opening the shop.  Whilst very secure, our electric shutter really does like to move a leisurely pace, even more so when it’s pelting with rain, like this morning. (I swear it does it on purpose to mock me).     

I finally get into the office, around 9.00am, make myself and the boss (if he’s in …) a cuppa. 

(Rule one of apprentice life, if you want to avoid sarky comments such as these classics ‘has the fuse gone again in that kettle’ or ‘is that the kettel I hear boiling’ from the boss, always be one step ahead and make him/her a cuppa to shut em up!).

So, not only have I braved the elements, won the battle with mocking shutter this morning, but I’ve also managed to keep the boss happy (go me!).  

 

Now on to my working day

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I have a great routine that I stick to and I would personally recommend to other apprentices to have a routine/check list to help you manage your time efficiently throughout the day.    

First on my morning hit list is to check and prioritise all the outstanding calls I need to make, and to check work emails.

After my routine checks are done, I then head over to our work station (this is all of 3 ft way from my desk –it’s an exhausting journey!).  This is where we keep the commercial pending repairs.  Part of my job is to ensure that all devices are professionally logged and that repairs are diagnosed, and customers are updated on the repair progress.

Throughout this process, we receive quite calls from our existing clients with a variety of requests, mainly ones asking for password resets, new user setups etc.

Midday

All this works takes me though to lunchtime.   My lunch break is 1 hour and usually I spend that time (obviously eating) … but also catching up with all the football news, mainly Manchester United news, because let’s face it, they are the best team in the Premier League.  My news perusal doesn’t go down well with the boss who is unfortunately a Spurs Fan.  Poor man.

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The remainder of the working day goes by quite fast, I have a steady number of calls, walk in clients and repairs to get along with.  I also have the lovely tasks for giving the kitchen a quick once over, washing up the tea cups and generally keeping the office space tidy and risk free.

It’s not all bad!

So all in all, being an apprentice isn’t that bad – please don’t believe the horror stories that all apprentices are taken advantage of.  The worst thing that’s happened to me was the humiliation of being the back end of one of the bosses pranks  – oh yes, I was told (and believed) that I had to use a ‘left handed screwdriver’ (ratchet screwdriver) for a job when I first started. That was a frustrating and long afternoon!

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Mind you, I have it good authority that the boss fell for the ‘tartan paint’ prank by his bosses when he was my age (apparently he was gone for over an hour trying to locate the illusive paint!)– who’s the fool now!?

I’ll save our new member of the humiliation of being the back end of one of the bosses pranks  – Left handed screwdriver – ratchet screwdriver, plus side I now know what a ratchet is.