It’s a really important time for us here at LDN Apprenticeships. 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 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! 

One of the awesome apprentices we’re celebrating is Ayo Fashola who is a QA Tester at Wazoku, a software company based in central London.

Ayo recently completed her Web & Software Development apprenticeship with Tech LDN (formerly Tech City Stars), so we popped into the Wazoku offices, a stone’s throw away from London Bridge, to catch up with Ayo and her team to talk about her time at Wazoku and being an apprentice.

We started at the beginning as Ayo talked about her decision to take up an apprenticeship and the choices she had beforehand.

“When I started looking for an apprenticeship I knew I had no experience in IT whatsoever. I didn’t want to go to university and have no clue what I’m doing, so I chose an apprenticeship because it gave me the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time.

I had considered university, but I thought it might be a bit overwhelming to me and I’m a practical learner, so if I gave myself the opportunity to be in an environment where I had no choice but to learn, I would learn more.”

Having made the decision to do an apprenticeship, it was now all about getting hired!

Miguel Palomino is the Product Manager and Rosemarie Diegnan is the Chief Strategy and Product Officer at Wazoku; both of whom work directly with Ayo within her role at the company. 

Rosemarie has hired a few apprentices from LDN Apprenticeships and Ayo was someone who stood out straight away when she was interviewed.

“She just seemed really excited about being part of the QA team and seemed to be something she really wanted to do. So I liked her enthusiasm and her experience, so we hired her!

The best thing about hiring an apprentice is they’re enthusiastic because they’re at the start of their careers. They want to learn and they want to jump in. They want to have new opportunities and we are a small business and more than happy to have smart and ambitious individuals come in a get started.”

Miguel is Ayo’s line manager and works with her on a daily basis and mentioned how hiring apprentices is helping with the growth of Wazoku.

“We have the experiences of other apprentices before Ayo and we have had very successful experiences with other apprentices from LDN Apprentices.  

The company is growing, so we continued searching for QA’s through Tech LDN. They are always happy to learn and we are happy to have them within the business.”

Ready to jump in and get started, first Ayo had to get up to scratch and learn the ropes. Despite little knowledge within IT as well as being unfamiliar within an office environment, Ayo always had the support of her work colleagues.

“I had a lot of support, so it wasn’t like I was lost I didn’t know what to do.

Since day one I had my manager supporting me, I had other people on the team supporting me. So it wasn’t too difficult in that respect.”

The best thing I’ve learnt at Wazoku is working with others. I’ve always been an independent learner but working here has made me improve not only working independently but within a team as well.”

This help and support from her team reaped benefits and Ayo went on to explain her biggest achievement during her apprenticeship at Wazoku.

“I started working with SSO when I started and I was a bit lost. But since then, I managed to put together a document that is now used throughout the company and is also part of the onboarding process for any new starter who joins the company!”

It’s not just Ayo that has seen herself improve during her apprenticeship.

Rosemarie has seen her come on leaps and bounds, not only on a personal level, but her skills to do the role as well. 

“She’s become much more confident. She has learnt our product as well as the ability to test our product and find bugs.

She can stand up for hers elf if somebody says there isn’t a bug, which developers can sometimes do. She is willing to say ‘no, I can show you why this is a bug’. 

For most apprentices, this is their first real full-time job. So getting used to coming into work every day and being part of the team, I can see their confidence grow the more comfortable they are within the role.”

So after finishing her apprenticeship and now working at Wazoku full-time, what advice would Ayo give to anyone who’s thinking of starting an apprenticeship? 

“I’d say go for it! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t. You earn the money, you learn on the job and whilst it can be overwhelming at times, the overall end goals are completely worth it!”

Miguel was just as enthusiastic and passionate when talking about businesses taking on apprentices.

“Hiring an apprentice is a great opportunity for not only businesses but for young people as well. An apprentice will always bring a new point of view and it’s good to have a different sense of how other people work.”

Rosemarie agreed and having hired and worked with apprentices before, was in a unique position to provide insight into why hiring an apprentice is so beneficial to Wazoku and how other businesses can harness new talent through apprenticeships. 

“It’s an amazing opportunity for young people who want to get started and university isn’t necessarily the track they want to take. So hiring apprentices has given us a pool of really smart, interesting and exciting people.”

“In hiring an apprentice, it’s a great way to get new, young talent that’s looking to get started that’s intelligent and as capable as anyone coming out of uni.

They’ve just chosen a different path, so don’t be afraid of that.”

Ayo and her awesome team at Wazoku 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 Ayo, and thank you to Miguel and Rosemarie for all of the support they’ve given to Ayo.  

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!