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Apprentice Network at IPO

The IPO regularly recruits people to their apprenticeship scheme and have recently launched their new Apprentice Network. Read a little about the network and our apprentice’s experiences below.

Our Apprentice Network is designed to support all apprentices in the IPO, to have a group of peers we can call friends and to support each other throughout our journey. As a new network we want to bring all apprentices together, provide a platform to share information and experiences and to encourage others to participate in projects around the office. With more apprentices joining annually, the network will help support and welcome them to the IPO and show them what our brilliant organisation has to offer.

Chairing the network will be Amelia and Luca, both recent joiners to the IPO they have experienced joining the office in this virtual world and want to support others who join in the future.

Amelia Davies-Smith - IPO

Amelia Davies-Smith

Working at the IPO, I am applying my level 4 IT training to transformation projects. I have significantly developed my technical skills, having shadowed my manager on projects. In my experience, no question has been too big or too small, and it has not been a problem to ask it again. Participating in paired programming, I have tackled increasingly difficult technical tasks and felt a huge sense of achievement for the progress I have made. I have had a flavour of a variety of professions from content design, observing user research to data analytics. Whatever I have undertaken, I have felt consistently supported and listened to by senior staff. The IPO really does value everyone's opinion, and I have had the confidence to contribute knowing my ideas would be seen on an even field not just as "an apprentice".

Joining the IPO remotely, I feel they have made a significant effort to make apprentices feel welcome. I have participated in the Christmas quiz, catch-ups with my cohort, apprentice cuppa and catch up. The list goes on, I would recommend this apprenticeship to anyone looking to enter IT.

Luca Cataldo

Luca Cataldo

Hello all, my name is Luca Cataldo and I am currently employed at the IPO as a Level 4 IT Apprentice for a duration of 2 years. I decided that I wanted a serious future in IT succeeding the completion of my GCSEs, when I took the decision to devote 2 years to studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Information Technology, Instead of staying in sixth form and selecting three other subjects that I had no real interest In.

Despite living and being from Newport, I completed my first year in Cardiff University, studying towards a Computer Science degree before deciding that an Apprenticeship was the way forward for me. This is my first professional IT based Job and I feel that gaining experience with a reputable organisation at the age of 19 can provide me with the right skills and can only be beneficial for my future.

I am currently working with the Infrastructure and Storage team here at the IPO and having only been here for 4 months, I feel that I have learned a lot and I am constantly improving and developing my technical skills. During my apprenticeship so far, I have obtained a hands-on experience with the servers, tools and storage area networks here at the IPO, which allow all our IT systems to run smoothly and efficiently.

My first 4 months here have been both challenging but rewarding. Starting a new job under the current circumstances of the pandemic has its limitations, for example I still haven’t met any colleagues in person (only virtually). However, I am included in three team meetings weekly which allow me to get to know my colleagues a little bit more. I am also included in a meeting with my cohort of apprentices for a chat about how work is going. As an apprentice, I found the first 2 months were about finding that balance between working full time and balancing that dreaded college work, but once I got into a routine, I realised how rewarding apprenticeships are. You get that amalgam of working full time and gaining experience in the ‘real world’ (which you wouldn’t always get on a regular Degree or HNC course), alongside earning that recognised qualification so I guess you could argue it’s the best of both worlds.

Borry Bojang

Borry Bojang

My name is Borry Bojang, I was born and raised in The Gambia, I completed all my schooling and also attended college to complete a Higher National Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies. I worked as a Civil Servant in The Gambia for ten years including an 18 month contract with the United Nations Mission based in Liberia before coming to the United Kingdom in 2017.

I was extremely lucky and privileged to join the IPO on 9 September 2019 as an apprentice deployed at Recordals team of the Register Services (B.O.D). The things I enjoy most at the IPO is feeling part of a team, feeling supported and rewarded by the organisation, working and supporting colleagues in my team, customers and the wider IPO.

I had always thought coming from a minority background would make it hard to achieve success, but my journey within the IPO demonstrated everyone regardless of your background can achieve greater success if you stay focused, determined and ready to work hard.

I would recommend the apprenticeship scheme to everyone. There are so many things I have achieved and many of my skills have improved such as Powerpoint presentations, confidence in public speaking, managing e-mail accounts and working with colleagues as part of a team.

Now that my apprenticeship has ended, I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to stay with a fixed term contract. I never thought in my wildest dreams this would be possible. I cannot thank my family, my manager and my team enough for all the support they have provided me.

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