Reuben Bell @ Clarion Housing Group

Reuben Bell @ Clarion Housing Group

There are a number of fantastic apprenticeship stories around all of the awesome businesses we work with at LDN Apprenticeships and having built up a great relationship with Clarion Housing Group – who currently have three LDN Apprentices on their books – it was the perfect place to head for our case study series!

With a number of offices around London, we went to see Reuben Bell in Clarion’s South London office, where Reuben is currently on our Future LDN programme as a Data Analyst apprentice at the largest housing association in the United Kingdom.

So we popped into their office to talk to Reuben about his decision behind starting an apprenticeship and what’s he’s currently learning within his role.

We also caught up with his line manager Rob Cheyne – the Finance, Compliance and Audit Coordinator at Clarion – to get his thoughts on hiring apprentices and how recruiting an apprentice like Reuben can benefit the business and his team.

Reuben started by telling us why he chose to do an apprenticeship and his decision to leave University after realising he wasn’t enjoying the course he had enrolled in.

“I wanted work experience and since this was my first job, I wanted something that would give me the necessary experience and confidence to flourish in this sort of environment.” Said Reuben.

 

“Within the first year of university, I realised I didn’t have much of an interest in what I was doing. I didn’t feel like I had a sense of direction and it wasn’t benefiting me. It was very expensive, so I decided to leave university and try a different path into work.”

After making the big decision to leave university and kickstart his career with an apprenticeship, it was now time to get a job!

Rob attended a Career Kickstarter day at our Lansdowne offices to recruit someone to work closely with him and help out with tasks and jobs as well as relieve some of the workload from his shoulders.

“We got to see a whole group of apprentices and what attracted me initially to Reuben was his knowledge and his attention to detail.” Said Rob

 

“He also seemed very level headed for someone at his age. This stood out for me massively when recruiting Reuben.”

After going for a work trial with Rob and Clarion, Reuben received the news he had been hoping for and got the job offer, meaning he could now start his apprenticeship journey with us!

Working in an office was going to be a completely new environment for Reuben and something he’d need to grasp relatively quickly. He explained what it was like learning the ropes when he started within his new role.

“It was a combination of ease and a bit of a challenge!

 

There were things I picked up quite quickly and enjoyed. It was mainly things like office etiquette which came as a bit of a shock.

 

Managing my time was especially difficult at first. It was very different to what I was used to but everyone was so helpful and welcoming, so the bedding in process was a really nice experience for me.”

Rob also enjoyed helping Ruben adapt at Clarion and got a lot out of helping someone at such a young age acclimatise into the workplace.

“The really enjoyable thing about having an apprentice in your team is helping them adapt into their first taste of work. 

 

Reuben has been great at learning new skills and taking things on board and it’s been great seeing somebody learn from small errors and improve their confidence over a short space of time.

 

To see him grow and mature in confidence is so rewarding.”

In conjunction with his role at Clarion, Reuben is also learning skills and gaining qualifications at our Lansdowne Training Hub with his Learning Development Specialist, Dharam.

The Digital Project Admin pathway teaches apprentices valuable skills that can be transferred over into the workplace. Allowing Reuben to gain the knowledge and confidence needed to help Rob and the team at Clarion.

“The admin pathway has allowed me to develop my project planning skills and plan assignments around my working life.

 

Understanding how much time I’ll need to complete certain things and how that will effect the end goal in a specific space of time has been really helpful.

 

My biggest achievement since starting my apprenticeship has not only seen me boost in confidence, but also my organisational skills. I certainly feel much more comfortable in a professional environment.”

With Reuben now almost one year into his role at Clarion, it’s fair to say recruiting him into the data analyst role has been a huge success!

He is now able to save Rob and his team an incredible amount of time and lift the workload off of more senior members of staff.

“Reuben has saved us heaps of time!

 

We receive a lot of queries on a daily basis and he is always on top of addressing those, taking a lot of work out of my hands.

 

That’s helped me tremendously because I can now focus on more strategic issues like building and developing relationships.

 

Instead of looking down and rushing around trying to deal with data enquiries, I’m able to look up and support my programme lead.”

Having had Reuben by his side and helping for the past year, Rob shared some advice for other businesses who may be looking to hire and introduce an apprentice into their team.

“I would definitely recommend hiring an apprentice.

 

It’s been a great experience and it’s a really good opportunity to give somebody their first taste in work.

 

It has been interesting meeting other employers that have said to me they found apprentices have actually been more beneficial than their permanent staff!

 

I would definitely go back and recruit apprentices.”

For Reuben, the experience of learning and developing within the workplace has already seen his skill set and confidence increase so much in such a short space of time.

So what advice would he give to someone who’s thinking of taking up an apprenticeship?

“I’d definitely say do it!

 

“It’s not easy all the time, but it’s certainly worth the experience. Your confidence will just grow because you’ll always be challenging yourself and doing new things.

 

You can only really gain from an apprenticeship!”

Reuben and his team at Clarion Housing Group are a brilliant example of how apprenticeships work for businesses and for young people. Highlighting the need to futureproof their business with young talent and inject new ideas into the company.

Congratulations to Reuben on his continued success and thank you to Rob for all of the continued support he has given to him.

If you’re thinking of HIRING an apprentice with us, click on the link below to discover more!

If you’re thinking of BECOMING an apprentice, click on the link below and find out how!

Hamdi Tajeddin @ PMA Digital – Tech LDN Apprentice of the Month

Hamdi Tajeddin @ PMA Digital – Tech LDN Apprentice of the Month

I’m happy to announce that the winner of Tech LDN Apprentice of the Month is Hamdi Tajeddin @ PMA Digital.

 

LDN Apprenticeships highlights a clear message of what makes an AWESOME Apprentice; they must show energy, enthusiasm, willingness to learn, ability to take feedback and propensity to take action (EEWAP). Hamdi’s nomination is below:

 

Energy: PMA Digital is an incredibly high energy workplace and Hamdi has found his own inimitable place within our dynamic. Uniquely energetic, fun, funny, self-starting, highly attentive to detail and motivated yet cool under pressure, he is not only a great role model to younger apprentices, but even to his more experienced colleagues around him. 


Enthusiasm: 
Hamdi’s exponentially increasing ability, his can-do attitude and the great results he consistently delivers have made him the perfect candidate to take on some of our more challenging and high profile projects. He has done so with unparalleled enthusiasm. It’s not all glamorous, but Hamdi takes on even the more onerous tasks with the very same enthusiasm.


Willingness To Learn:
 Hamdi joined us a blank canvas and now finds himself a skilled and confident junior developer, a journey on which he has taken himself with gusto. He is beyond willing to learn – it is at the heart of his every day.

 

Ability To Take Feedback: Hamdi has successfully delivered projects for some of our most demanding clients; and with demanding clients comes demanding feedback. Not only has he taken this feedback on his broad shoulders – even when it requires the most frustrating backwards movement – but each piece of feedback has fed into his learning process.

 

Propensity To Take Action: In an incredibly fast-paced working environment, Hamdi has thrived under the pressure which comes with the job, always proactive in his approach to solving problems and delivering elegant solutions to complex problems. Forget having to ask twice – we don’t even need to ask once.

 

Congratulations Hamdi!

Eemaan & Adrian @ FanFinders

Eemaan & Adrian @ FanFinders

There are a number of fantastic apprenticeship stories to tell here at LDN Apprenticeships and our apprentices at FanFinders certainly fall under this category!

We currently have TWO fantastic software developers in Adrian Nica and Eemaan Beardon working alongside FanFinders CEO Alec Dobbie at their Shoreditch offices in East London.

What makes this case study particularly special is Eemaan was the winner of our Apprentice of the Year for 2017! So it was great to catch up with her and get her thoughts on not only winning Apprentice of the Year, but her experience in currently doing her Level 4 Software Development apprenticeship and how it differs from the Level 3 program she completed last year.

So we popped into the FanFinders office and talked to all three about their experience with LDN Apprenticeships and how they’ve developed within their role at FanFinders!

We started by talking to Eemaan and Adrian about the very beginning of their journey with us, if they were considering a different career pathway and why they eventually decided to do an apprenticeship.

I wanted to get more experience said Eemaan. I felt combining both experience with work would grow my skills better in the long run than just studying independently. 

 

Adrian agreed. The opportunity to earn money whilst learning really appealed to me. University would be three years and with the knowledge I already had, a software development apprenticeship felt best for me!

Both having made the decision to do an apprenticeship, the next part was getting a job!

Having hired Eemaan in 2016 and Adrian the year after, Alec has had plenty of experience in hiring apprentices and felt that both stood out as the perfect new recruits for FanFinders!

 We were looking for a mix of talent to come and work with us and help fill a couple of roles. LDN Apprenticeships helped us massively with this and we hired two really good apprentices from the Tech LDN program.

 

The positions we were looking to fill weren’t senior roles but at the same time, weren’t quite junior, so we needed to make sure they were strong candidates willing to learn within the role and that’s exactly what we found.

Having both secured positions at FanFinders, they now had to get up to scratch and really begin their roles on the front foot. Eemaan recalled what it was like learning the ropes during her first few months within the role.

It was a really life changing experience and I gained a lot of confidence. I had so much support from the tutors and the people that worked around me. Everyone helped me develop my skills and areas to improve.

 

Everyone was so supportive. We all got on well with each other and it was a really nice environment to develop and learn in.

Alec also gave us an insight into what it was like getting a software development apprentice up to scratch and if he changed his approach when he recruited Alec a year later.

 I don’t think we’d have got to Adrian if it hadn’t have been for Eemaan. This gave us faith in the process and system along with knowing the training at LDN Apprenticeships was paying dividends within our workplace.

 

We spend a lot of time within the first few months making sure they are learning what we need them to and put them on a structured program.

 

We started with very simple tasks before moving them onto more complex things going forward and it’s worked well. For example, Adrian has built a client portal that’s going to be a large piece of the business going forward!

The client portal Adrian built is just one of the many personal achievements for him since starting at FanFinders just under a year ago.

Adrian also feels his development and understanding of the FanFinders workplace and the business itself has been a big part of his development within his role.

Gaining experience in marketing and experience within the business world has been a huge achievement for me.

 

I’ve learnt so much and gained so much knowledge. My line manager here has 25 years of experience and he knows how the company works more than anyone here!

 

For someone young like myself looking to get into a software development role, I also feel I’ve learnt how to make really good software, not just plain code.

For Eemaan, who is now doing her level 4 software development apprenticeship, it was interesting to hear what the major differences were from doing a level 3 qualification and her decision to go on to a level 4 qualification.

 The biggest difference was definitely the intensity in work. So if you like a challenge it’s definitely something to look into!

 

The qualifications are so valuable though because you become MTA qualified and instead of having to pay for qualifications at university, here you’re supported by the company, which is ten times better for me!

Having hired two web and software development apprentices, what advice would Alec give to other business thinking of hiring an apprentice?

Absolutely do hire an apprentice and go forward with it.

 

It’s been a really rewarding and beneficial experience and for us, there’s no negatives from where I am. It’s cost-effective and you can see you’re helping young people move forward.

 

At the same time, it’s helping us as a business as well!

Alec’s positive experience in hiring Eemaan and Adrian was echoed by both apprentices themselves and their journey so far has given them both the opportunity to kickstart a career they’re passionate about at FanFinders.

So what advice would they give to someone who’s thinking of doing an apprenticeship?

You’re learning in the job and getting paid for it said Adrian. You’re not just learning in theory and it’s a completely different path to university.

 

You learn and accumulate a lot more skills that you would if you just went to university Eemaan continued.

 

Being a part of a workplace, you’ve got other teams and departments you can branch into and develop within all areas of a business.

 

For those thinking of doing an apprenticeship, I’d say definitely go for it!

Alec and his team at FanFinders are a brilliant example of how apprenticeships work for businesses and for young people. Highlighting the need to futureproof their business with young talent and inject new ideas into the company.

Congratulations to Eemaan and Adrian on their continued success and thank you to Alec for all of the continued support he has given to both apprentices.

If you’re thinking of HIRING an apprentice with us, click on the link below to discover more!

If you’re thinking of BECOMING an apprentice, click on the link below and find out how!

LDN Apprenticeships #WomenInTech @ Aspect Capital

LDN Apprenticeships #WomenInTech @ Aspect Capital

Did you know only 17% of the current roles in tech within the UK are filled by women?

We are inundated with applications at LDN Apprenticeships from young women looking to kickstart their career in tech roles such as Software Development, Digital Marketing and IT & Support.

There is currently a 50/50 split of male and female applicants for our pathways. So why is there such a gap in diversity within the current tech workplace in the UK? It’s time for something to change and bridge the diversity gap!

We teamed up with Aspect Capital to provide a unique work experience day for seven AWESOME young software development candidates who applied for an apprenticeship with us! The day was packed with talks, Q&A sessions and workshops provided by the top tech talent currently working within the tech department at Aspect Capital. They were able to provide valuable insight into their experiences in becoming a software developer and the roles and tasks they play within the company.
My’a Douglas and Emily Bamford were two of the young women who attended on the day and found the workshops and talks hugely beneficial as part of their early development into starting a career in software development.

“I found the whole day very informative and professional” said Emily.

 

“I’m going to go away with a lot of information and feel a lot more confident in going home and doing my own coding! It will also help me generate more ideas and conduct more research into software development.”

My’a agreed that the knowledge she’s going to take away from the day and the workshops they participated in were hugely beneficial and completely different to what she has previously done!

I really enjoyed today! It was a lot different to what I’ve previously learnt and I’ve gained more hand on experience and learnt new languages as well!

 

I loved the workshops and what I learnt from them but it was also interesting to see how the company works and what roles software developers play in Aspect Capital.

Gemma Hagen is the lead developer within the software development team at Aspect Capital and being one of the 17% of women currently working in tech within the UK, was the perfect person to give advice and call on her own personal experiences.

 “We wanted to give them a bit of insight into what type of opportunities there are in the industry and what being a software developer is like.

 

I think software is still unfortunately stereotyped as an industry that is better suited to males. 

 

Obviously, I am a girl in software development and I strong heartedly disagree with that notion!

 

Anything that encourages women into the industry is hugely beneficial for everyone in it.”

Events like our #WomenInTech work experience day at Aspect Capital go long way in helping bridge the diversity gap and end the stigma surrounding the tech industry that still exists.

Allowing our candidates to experience and spend time with those who currently work within the tech industry on a professional platform gives them an opportunity that many young women before them may not have had.

The next step is now getting these eager and enthusiastic young women into tech roles across London and allowing companies to reap the benefits of injecting fresh talent into their teams and futureproofing their business.

Thank you to everyone at Aspect Capital and to the seven AWESOME young women who attended on the day and made it such a rewarding event to put on. It’s time to bridge the diversity gap!

If you’re thinking of HIRING an apprentice with us, click on the link below to discover more!

If you’re thinking of BECOMING an apprentice, click on the link below and find out how!

Darius Mannering @ Kano

Darius Mannering @ Kano

It’s a really important time for us here at LDN Apprentices. We’ve been delivering our Tech LDN (Formerly Tech City Stars) apprenticeship programme for almost five years, and our 150th apprentice recently completed their Tech LDN (formerly Tech City Stars) apprenticeship. The fact is that so many apprentices completed at a similar time that we thought it only fair to celebrate all of them together!

The first awesome Tech LDN apprentice we’re celebrating is Darius Mannering, who is a support agent at Kano Computing. Darius recently completed his IT support and networking apprenticeship with Tech LDN.

We popped into the Kano offices in Moorgate and caught up with Darius to talk about his time Tech City Stars and Kano.

Darius started off by telling us how he took the plunge and started his apprenticeship with the London Group.

“I personally didn’t want to go straight into studying something I wasn’t sure about and I came into Tech City Stars looking for something different.

I had an interest in computing and IT so I thought let’s go for it!

 

It was more about me getting my feet on the ball and seeing if I feel more comfortable working in industry and it worked out really nicely for me. I love it here!

 

I was considering university, but the apprenticeship guided me in the right direction.

It put me in the mindset of this is something I want to do and something I enjoy doing.

It’s been a quick year but it has taught me so much!” 

Darius’s enthusiasm at interview and his desire to kickstart his career through an apprenticeship was what inspired the team at Kano to hire him.

Bruce Beardall is the customer care team leader and Mathew Keegan is the head of customer care at Kano.

Both cited Darius’ attitude as a big inspiration in recruiting him as an apprentice for their tight-knit team.

Mathew recalls making the decision to hire Darius.

 

“There were a lot of factors. We’d hired apprentices in the past, which meant we knew the value we could get from working with young people.

 

What really inspired me about Darius was he had a very can-do attitude and was really motivated.

 

I always try and look for people that have high levels of motivation to join our team because I know they’ll put in as much as they’re willing to get out.”

 

The feeling was mutual with Bruce, the team leader for the customer care team at Kano.

 

“We have a policy within the customer care team of looking to encourage new talent and as a part of that, Darius was hired. It’s worked out exceptionally well.

 

The progress Darius has made in a short space of time is a testament to his hard work and endeavour to learn. Not only has he developed his IT skills, but his soft skills have come on in leaps and bounds as well.”

It’s common for apprentices to start a role with very little working knowledge of the technical skills the role requires. It’s the willingness and desire to learn that makes all the difference. Darius is no exception.

 

“I had a general interest in IT, but I didn’t have any of the necessary qualifications.

 

I played games, built my own computers, learned thing through self-teaching on YouTube. I had an interest and that’s all it took for me to give an apprenticeship a shot!”

We asked Darius about the progression of not only his IT skills, but also his personal skills since he started his apprenticeship.

“Because it’s my first office environment, I feel like I’ve connected with a lot of different teams I wasn’t aware of previously and I’ve learned how to fit in to a company like Kano.

 

I worked in retail before and that was a customer service environment, but when you’re in an office it’s a whole different thing.

 

You feel valued, which made me apply my prior customer service knowledge into a workplace and into something I enjoy. It’s a great combination for me.”

 

And he’s put that combination to great use, working on one of his favourite bits of kit, the Raspberry PI.

 

“Everything to do with this tiny single board computer called the Raspberry PI. It was completely new to me when I first started here so I was a bit confused about it!

 

I wasn’t sure how to approach it but I’ve learnt so much.

 

There are so many capabilities of this tiny computer and that’s what Kano teach to children and anyone else interested in technology. That’s what I love about Kano.”

Darius’s development has not gone unnoticed by Mathew either, who since recruiting him, has seen him progress a huge amount in such a short space of time.

 

“Darius was very shy when he joined but I’ve definitely seen over the last 12 months he’s become a very bright and bubbly member of our team.

 

The other change I’ve seen is the level of confidence – he didn’t have this when he first joined. He was a bit unsure about this very different career path he was taking and he’s really settled into that now, which is fantastic to see.”

 

Working with Darius closely on a daily basis, Bruce has also noticed the improvements in Darius since he started at Kano.

“Darius has gone from a very unsure school leaver to someone who is gaining certainty and self-assurance every day.

 

He’s gone from someone who wasn’t quite certain how to interact with people to being someone who has been trusted enough to be sent to our Boston office to train new starters there.

 

We’re very pleased he’s staying on with us beyond his apprenticeship!”

 

So after completing his apprenticeship at Tech LDN, what advice would Darius give to someone who’s thinking of starting an apprenticeship?

 

 

“Please do it!

 

Don’t have second thoughts because at the end of the day, it’s only one year and I’ve learnt so so much just being in this office for a year and I’m sure every other apprentice from Tech City Stars has done the same as well.”

Mathew has an equally positive message for businesses thinking of hiring an apprentice.

“The one thing I would say to anyone thinking of taking on an apprentice is do it. And my one piece of advice is not to take one, take two!

 

This is because when you give someone an instant friend, someone that can share the highs and lows of the apprenticeship and that they can work alongside, it gives them a level of confidence coming in and a level of self-assurance that perhaps can be more difficult with one person.

 

I’m one of the biggest advocates of the apprenticeship scheme and I say to anyone there’s no excuse for you not to be doing it!”

 

Darius and his awesome team at Kano are a brilliant example of how apprenticeships work for business and for young people. We’re thrilled to celebrate their success with this case study.

 

Congratulations Darius, and thank you to Bruce and Mathew for all of the support they’ve given to Darius.

If you’re thinking of HIRING an apprentice with us, click on the link below to discover more!

If you’re thinking of BECOMING an apprentice, click on the link below and find out how!