We have a number of awesome success stories here at LDN Apprenticeships and one of those is Toby Lagden at Sphonic, a tech company based a two-minute walk from Moorgate station in the heart of central London.
We popped in to see Toby and his line manager Michael Williams in their offices to talk about Toby’s great apprenticeship success story and how he’s getting on now after completing his apprenticeship and signing a full-time contract with Sphonic!
A total of 90% of our apprentices go onto further positive progression after they complete their apprenticeship with LDN Apprenticeships and Toby is part of that pool having now landed a full-time role. So why did he decide to apply for an apprenticeship?
“The reason I decided to do an apprenticeship in the first place was not only to get a qualification but also get some work and experience. I thought that would benefit me a lot more than it would just getting a qualification or vice versa.
I considered university but after weighing up the pros and cons, it felt like the pros didn’t heavily outweigh what I thought would be beneficial to me within my career.”
After Toby’s mind was made up, he attended our Career Kickstarter event which is where he met with the good people at Sphonic, including Michael, who explained how hiring an apprentice is part of the company’s growth plan.
“We’re constantly expanding the business and we’ve grown significantly over the last six years.
It’s very difficult to recruit for what we’re after, so we felt we were better placed to hire an apprentice who could come in, understand our business in all areas and show us where they are strongest, so they can take on the position we’re after.”
Since starting at Sphonic, Toby has come on leaps and bounds not only within his digital skill set, but also his personal skills, especially his confidence, something Toby highlights as his biggest achievement since starting at Sphonic.
“I’d have to say my personal biggest achievement is the improvement in my confidence!
When I first started I had no self confidence and no real belief in what I did, so I was always second guessing. Now I’m at the point where I don’t have to second guess. I know what I’m doing is the right thing.”
Michael completely agreed when talking about Toby’s improvements since starting his apprenticeship.
“His confidence has grown significantly.
When he first joined he was quite shy and worried about speaking to anyone within the business. Now he’s very good. He’ll come and pester anyone he needs to if there’s some work he needs to complete!”
Michael’s reasoning behind starting an apprenticeship with LDN apprenticeships was so he could learn and gain experience in the workplace at the same time. So how has he transferred what he
“Learning to balance the workload has been a beneficial learning curve. My work ethic has always been high but knowing how to take advantage of less busier periods within the work place is a huge part of what I’ve learnt.
Don’t rush it, make sure it’s a good standard and if you haven’t got work, ask for some!”
Michael and the team at Sphonic have benefited massively from hiring Toby and has helped them save hours of time and money with the work they’ve given him and the tasks he has learnt.
“Because we work with over 70 vendors within our business, that’s an awful lot of APIs and data. Understanding that data is key to our business and what we deliver to our clients.
What we did was provide Toby with the API documentation to strip the data out of it. From this his understanding grows and his subject matter knowledge grows as well.
With that he’s saved me a lot of time of having to extract the data myself and I could then focus more on the integrations with our clients.
That sort of skill set is expensive to hire directly. When you get someone who is as eager and willing to learn as Toby is it’s absolutely fantastic for the business.”
So after the success of his time as an apprentice, what would Toby say to anyone who’s thinking of doing an apprenticeship?
“I’d say go for it!
See what matches your skill set and your passion, then once you’ve found a career path, whether that’s IT or Web Development or one that fits for you, dedicate yourself to it and the reward is there for you at the end.”
Michael has had experience of hiring a few apprentices with LDN Apprenticeships now and has valuable knowledge and insight into what to expect when hiring an apprentice.
The ability to harness new talent and tap into a pool of talent he wouldn’t be able to in other routes of recruitment have hugely benefited not only him as a manager, but the business as a whole.
“I’d definitely suggest to any business to hire an apprentice.
As long as you have the resources and ability to teach and train them like any new recruit. You know you’re going to get an endless amount of positivity back.
To begin with, they’re keen, eager and they’ll probably out do you in a lot of areas!
But with the ones we have hired, they always come back and give you ideas, which I think is fantastic!”
Toby and his awesome team at Sphonic 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 Toby, and thank you to Michael for all of the support he has given to Toby.
If you’re thinking of HIRING an apprentice with us, click on the link below to discover more!
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