News & Events

From IT apprentice to junior team member

Posted on 7th February 2022

As the 15th annual National Apprenticeship Week begins we're delighted to share our Q&A with Jordan #NAW2022

Jordan completed his apprenticeship with Autism Initiatives in 2021, achieving a Distinction as a Level 4 Network Engineer. He also gained qualifications in network security and network systems and architecture.

Jordan recently stepped up to a new role at Autism Initiatives as a Junior IT Technician. Here, he talks about why he did an apprenticeship, his experiences in the working world, and the great opportunities it led to.

Tell us about your apprenticeship

As an IT Apprentice, my role involved setting up new equipment like desktops, laptops, network equipment and mobile phones. I was and still am involved with managing IT at Peterhouse School, and at the rest of Autism Initiatives’ services across the UK and Ireland. I deal with daily IT queries from staff by telephone and emails. These queries can range from printer installations to help with Microsoft Teams and also troubleshooting Network problems within the Services.

I began the apprenticeship in September 2019 and completed it in October 2021. It was meant to finish earlier than this, however, Covid-19 affected the way in which the training and exams took place.

How did you find out about the apprenticeship at Autism Initiatives?

I applied almost 3 years ago now. I think I was applying for apprenticeships on a website and had a call from Estio (a provider of Digital and IT apprenticeships) to go have a chat with them in Manchester and discuss some options. I had a choice of 3 apprenticeships which would suit my goals. I chose to apply for one at a Law Firm in Manchester and the position at Autism Initiatives as an IT Apprentice.

How did you find studying while working?

It was a challenging task, as I had to find time around my job to fit in the training and project work. It could be a bit stressful at times, as I needed to still perform my role as IT Apprentice. Travelling from Liverpool to Manchester for the training was also an issue. But after I made a request to the training provider, it was later moved online which suited me much better.

Describe your relationship with your team

My colleagues in the IT team, Chris and Barry were very helpful throughout the apprenticeship. They were always very happy to show me how to complete tasks or how to correctly answer queries from staff. They also taught me IT Skills that I didn’t previously have such as the maintaining of servers and creation of new users or groups.

It sounds like your experience has been invaluable. Would you recommend doing an apprenticeship to young people?

Yes - I believe the benefit of doing an apprenticeship is that you get the work experience as well as a qualification, so that if you choose to move on after the apprenticeship you’ll have valuable work experience as well as the qualifications that employers look for. Also, if you enjoy your place of work, you may be offered a permanent contract to work for the company. This is an advantage because you’ll already have the experience of working within that team.

What’s next for you?

I’m planning to stay with AI for the near future, as I enjoy working with my colleagues. We’ll see what the future will bring, as there are a lot of options to choose from thanks to the qualifications and experience I’ve gained. I plan to possibly specialise in Network Security as I’ve always enjoyed that field of IT, or another option for me could be working within a datacentre managing the network infrastructure.