Since the introduction of the Apprenticeships Levy in 2017, our programme for recruiting new apprentices into S&SHIS 1st Line Service Desk, 2nd Line Desktop Support and the IT Orders teams has gone from strength to strength, with apprentices now also being brought into teams not previously involved such as Application Development. During the 2022/23 year we recruited a total of five apprentices plus two higher level apprentices.

We have recently started to open up apprenticeship opportunities for our substantive staff too, allowing them to further their education and qualifications whilst learning ‘on the job’.

As a result of our strong links with Newcastle and Stafford College Group and local schools, we are invited to attend a variety of events throughout the year, designed to encourage students to think about their future career plans. These enable us to target the most suitable students who are actively studying IT and start forming those crucial links into our organisation helping to smooth their path into future employment with us.

The S&SHIS Work Experience programme (min age 16yrs) is a really useful pre-cursor for prospective applications to the Apprenticeship programme. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit an application for some work experience with our IT Teams in Trentham. Once approved, a commencement date is arranged and a varied plan of activities for their week is set, taking account of their preferred interest areas i.e. AppDev, Network & Systems etc. Work experience usually takes place over one week but can be split differently if required, although the most benefit is gained from a full week so that the student is able to gain experience in all relevant areas.

Work experience is the perfect opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, as well as providing applicants with an insight into our organisation and culture, which has proven to be extremely helpful in accessing the Apprenticeship programme at both the application stage and interviews.