University apprenticeship scheme awarded

Jake Saunders accepts the award from Andy Street

The University of Birmingham has been named 'Large Employer of the Year' at the recent Apprenticeship Awards held by Halesowen College.

The award, which recognises the University’s outstanding support in helping apprentices develop their potential, was presented to staff at the University by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands.

Jake Saunders, an IT Services manager who collected the award on behalf of the University, said: “Representing IT and the University at the awards at Halesowen College was an honour. It was a great opportunity to discuss the scheme with the Mayor and other businesses and institutions in the Midlands. To win an award was the icing on the cake.”

The apprentice scheme is currently in its third year and has more than 50 apprentices on programme in a range of roles across the University. The scheme has been particularly successful in IT Services where it forms a fundamental part of the fabric of the department. During the last three years the department has taken on 18 apprentices, many of whom have now achieved full time employment and are amongst the rising stars of IT Services.

Head of Service Management in IT Services Ian Bowman said: “We offer a strong career path and support network for our apprentices, and the scheme has allowed us to develop staff with the right skills which further adds to our own talented teams. The apprentices’ work ethic has been superb, they have brought fresh ideas and they continue to challenge themselves to develop themselves further after their apprenticeship has completed.”

All of the University’s apprentices are provided with thorough ‘on the job’ training that gives them the skills, experience and behaviours needed to strive in their chosen career path. They also receive support from their line managers and Further Education partners, dedicated development days and an outward bound trip to the Lake District.

Paul Fogg completed his Level 3 IT Infrastructure Technician Apprenticeship Standard last year and is now in a full time role in IT Services He said: “The apprenticeship scheme enabled me to develop both the necessary IT knowledge, through college courses, as well as essential occupational competencies. The training, support and encouragement I got from people across IT Services at the University was amazing and helped me to progress into a full time role at the University of Birmingham.”

Winning the award demonstrates the commitment of the University as an anchor institution in the city to provide outstanding apprenticeship opportunities for people in the region.

Notes for editors

For further information, please contact Head of Communications and Engagement (Infrastructure) Sally Xerri-Brooks on +44 (0)121 414 3984.