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LDN Graduation 2019.

LDN Graduation 2019.

On Thursday, LDN Apprenticeships welcomed over 100 apprentices, employers and guests to our fourth annual Graduation ceremony, where the class of 2018/2019 celebrated their achievements and were each awarded with a trophy to commend their hard work during the course of their apprenticeships.

Apprentice of the Year

Our graduation ceremony is an opportunity to announce our Apprentices of the Year! This is to award the two apprentices within both the Future LDN and Tech LDN programmes that have not just excelled within their apprenticeship but also within their workplace, becoming an integral part of their team and showing #EEWAP to the absolute maximum!

The winners of the Apprentice of the Year were:

Josh Gomes (Tech LDN) – Benefacto

Ellie O’Reilly (Future LDN) – Funding Circle

Tech LDN - Apprentice of the Year 2019 - Josh Gomes - Benefacto

Josh embodies EEWAP, illustrated by his contribution to every project.
He brings energy and enthusiasm to planning; voicing new ideas or suggesting new ways of doing things.
Josh is forced to embrace a steep learning curve: teaching himself a new language? No problem. Complex business logic? He’ll find a way. Interacting directly with clients to learn requirements? Josh is already dialing the number.
Eager to improve, Josh takes on feedback readily and whatever is required he’ll take the actions required to deploy elegant, tested code on time every time.
Given the right encouragement Josh will end up as an accomplished CTO – it’s our job to encourage him with this award.

Future LDN - Apprentice of the Year - Ellie O'Reilly - Funding Circle

Ellie has made a huge impact since being at Funding Circle. She completed her Level 3 and is now in the middle of her Level 4, all whilst quickly progressing within the team to become a Senior Administrator. She is a consistent top performer and has taken on additional responsibilities such as leading training sessions and acting as a mentor for our new starters, holding weekly catch ups with them and reporting on their statistics. She is well known around the business and is considered friendly and approachable, and has even won a company-wide award on two occasions for her commitment to the role.

With so many great nominations, it was tough to pick just two from Tech LDN and Future LDN.

The rest of the nominations for Apprentice of the Year can be seen below:

 

Manager of the Year

 

For the first time ever, we unveiled the Future LDN and Tech LDN Manager of the Year!

We know the BEST apprentices always have a great manager to help them throughout their apprenticeship journey. So we felt it was time to reward the managers behind the AWESOME apprentices. 

The winners of the Manager of the Year were:

Sam Bysouth (Tech LDN) – X4 Group

Catherine Lyons (Future LDN) – euNetworks

Tech LDN - Manager of the Year - Sam Bysouth - X4 Group

Sam has been very versatile when it comes to teaching/mentoring me on IT, considering he covers other areas of the company he still has knowledge on what it takes to become a good IT support technician. I feel Sam has put a lot into me guiding me through my apprenticeship and should be rewarded for his hard work.

Future LDN - Manager of the Year - Catherine Lyons - euNetworks

Catherine has to be one of the best managers out there in the AR and AP sector. She will always do the utmost for her team and finds comfort in watching her team succeed and will never take the light away from them.
She has seen 3 apprentices finish the course and has had 1 apprentice of the year. Catherine deserves this award for her commitment to watching the continuing growth of her apprentices and acting like a mother figure when sometimes as an apprentice you may lose your way, much more than anybody could ask for in the workplace.

 

The rest of the nominations for Manager of the Year can be seen below:

LDN Apprenticeships Ofsted Report 2019

LDN Apprenticeships Ofsted Report 2019

LDN Apprenticeships has been helping young people to find jobs they love and start meaningful careers for over eight years. In this time, we’ve helped almost 600 young people to become apprentices and we’ve been a part of the journey to employment for thousands more. 

The team and I are really proud of the young people that we work with and we value the opportunities that our employers give to them. For so many of our apprentices, these opportunities are truly life-changing experiences. 

 

In the first week of January, we had an Ofsted Monitoring visit – the first time LDN Apprenticeships has been inspected directly. Needless to say, a visit from Ofsted is always a big deal for organisations like ours. 

For those of you who know the ins and outs of how Ofsted inspects apprenticeships, this was not a ‘full inspection’ but rather a monitoring visit for newly funded providers.

Monitoring visits for new providers are different to full and short inspections. They normally take place over two days. Inspectors do not cover all aspects of the inspection framework. Inspectors make progress judgements on three themes: 

 

  • Leadership: How much progress have leaders made to ensure that they meet all the requirements of successful apprenticeship provision? 
  • The quality and outcomes of training:  What progress have leaders and managers made to make sure that apprentices receive high-quality training that leads to positive outcomes? 
  • Safeguarding:  How much progress have leaders and managers made in ensuring that safeguarding arrangements are effective? 

The inspectors found that we are making significant progress in each of these three areas – the top mark that a provider can achieve in a monitoring visit. They understood and appreciated our vision for creating truly inspiring opportunities for apprentices. 

They were impressed with the fantastic outcomes our apprentices achieve during their time with us and they had high praise for the work we do to keep our apprentices safe and prevent them from falling into harm’s way.

Ofsted carried out 63 monitoring visits like this one to training organisations all over the country during the six months to August 2018 and only two organisations in that list of 63 received top grades in all areas.

The fact that we scored top marks in all areas, puts LDN Apprenticeships right up there with the top performing providers in the country. 

We’re very pleased with the result, but at the same time we know that there is still plenty of work for us to do. We know that we’ll receive a full inspection (the real deal!) sometime in the next 12 months, but this in itself is not a reason for us to continue to pursue the highest quality apprenticeship provision we can.  

Each improvement we make improves the experience our apprentices and clients have with us, and this is why we’re so focused on it. So, the team and I are totally focused on continuing to improve our programmes, our processes and the outcomes we enable, and we’re looking forward to working with you to make that a reality. 

This is a great opportunity to thank each and every one of our apprentices for doing awesome things every day, for working so hard and for being such a credit to LDN Apprenticeships and to the employers that you work for. 

It’s also my chance to send a massive thank you to the forward-thinking businesses who we work with who have chose to change the way their organisations looks, feels and acts by investing in apprentices. 

And finally, it’s a chance to celebrate all of the hard work that the team and London Apprenticeships does every day. Thank you!

Take a look at the full report, which is now available for download on the Ofsted website HERE:  https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/

 

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!

Reuben Bell @ Clarion Housing Group

Reuben Bell @ Clarion Housing Group

With various 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.

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!

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!

How To Do Christmas For Less as an Apprentice

How To Do Christmas For Less as an Apprentice

It’s that time of year everyone! Halloween has passed, the festive season adverts have appeared, and the sound of Xmas jingles begin to follow you around the high street shops and restaurants.

Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year. But for an apprentice like myself, it can also hit my bank account more than any other month of the year.

Last December, from my calculations, I spent well over £400. In the grand scheme of things that seems a reasonably small amount. However, that amount is nearly half of the average apprentice’s monthly salary.

Often when buying gifts you find yourself impulse buying because you see a price that you think is ‘reasonable’ or you’re just feeling the pressure to ensure you get each and everyone on your list a gift. Here are our top five tips on how to have an AWESOME Christmas for less!

Black Friday

Black Friday is a great opportunity to get AWESOME gifts at even more AWESOME prizes!

But don’t settle on the first bargain you see! Whilst the saving may look good, companies often have promo codes to use in conjunction with Back Friday offers.

A few good websites I found for promo codes are:

 https://www.hotukdeals.com/vouchers

https://www.vouchercodes.co.uk

https://www.independent.co.uk/vouchercodes

Budget

Set a budget before you go shopping. Whether it is the price per gift or the grand total of a shop. A budget is always useful to make sure you don’t overspend and can financially afford everything you buy!

Sharing is Caring

Remember a gift is a gift! However big or small or within any price range, it’s the thought that counts!

Look for Bargains

Don’t impulse buy! If you’ve missed out on Black Friday, you’ve got time to investigate and shop around for bargains. Once you put items into your basket, search for them on Google Shopping just to make sure you can’t get them cheaper elsewhere.

Apprenticeship Perks

As an apprentice, you can apply for an NUS apprentice extra card for hundreds of savings all year round. This includes 10% off at Co-op (which could be useful for Christmas dinner), 40% off with National Express (if you’re traveling long distances during the festive season) and 10% off at New Look both online and instore.

 

 

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!

The Pros in Hiring School Leavers

The Pros in Hiring School Leavers

Many businesses that don’t traditionally employ school leavers have understandable concerns about working with 16 to 19 year-olds, but are they fair?  

I have worked alongside school leavers for most of my career. From student recruitment at the Telegraph and The Independent to my time at UCAS and finally in my current role at the LDN Apprenticeships, I feel I have built up a good understanding of the pros and cons.

At London Apprenticeships, we know that young people have the potential to help companies become better versions of themselves, to grow and to be more forward thinking. Quite often, however, our clients have concerns about hiring apprentices.

 

They Are A Blank Slate

School leavers may not have all the skills you want. But with the support of a good apprenticeship provider and a great manager, they will develop all the skills they need, tailored to the needs of the business.

You also have the flexibility to identify skills and aptitudes as your apprentice grows into their role and to adapt it accordingly. Graduates are not always equipped with the specific skills you need, and they have more rigid expectations about the job they expect to be doing.

For example, Computer Science graduates have the highest unemployment rates at 14% of any graduate despite the digital skills gap.  Why? They just don’t have the skills employers actually need.

They Have A Unique Perspective

Don’t be afraid of a young person’s different perspective, especially if your workforce is generally older. The perspective a young person offers can give fresh impetus to your business and allow you to reach a much wider audience.

They Question How Things Are Done 

They are eager to learn. If something is done in a way they are unsure of, they want to know why.  This might be initially frustrating, but they only ask because they are keen to learn and understand. Sometimes a little bit of naivety can be a good thing! Conversely how often do you question current processes? Perhaps there is a better way to do things? A school leaver could be the person to spark the process of improving.

They Approach Problems Differently 

With an innate understanding of modern technology, young people have a fountain of knowledge at their fingertips and the know-how to access it.  This can lead to solutions you would not normally have thought of.  It’s always good to have options.

Understand How Their Peers Communicate 

If you want to reach a youthful audience, young apprentices can be ideal for this. The way their peers communicate can give you a great insight into which channels and language to use. Just be aware that not all young people are the same!

Futureproof Your Business 

Quite simply, having flow continuous flow of new, young people into your business is the best way to futureproof it. Fresh ideas and new skills come with your apprentices. Apprentices represent a cost-effective means of bridging the digital skills gap. Because you’ve given them the opportunity, they’re loyal and totally invested in your business.

 

These are just some of the positives – of course, there are many more.

Keep an eye out for my next piece where I’ll be discussing some of the challenges that our clients face when hiring school leavers and how working with LDN Apprenticeships can help to overcome them.