Orchard’s Young Apprentices Enjoying Scheme
Our recently launched apprenticeship scheme is proving its worth to us and our young Apprentices .
Liam Alexander and Richard Aydon are studying for the NVQ in Information and Communication Technology while working at Orchard and when asked how the apprenticeship has benefitted him Richard explained, “Since leaving school and joining sixth form, I’ve discovered that continuing with study based education just isn’t for me. I’ve always learned best with a hands on approach, which is something you don’t get a great deal of opportunity of at school or college. Starting at Orchard has given me this opportunity and 3 months here has taught me a lot more about ICT than 12 years of school.”
Danielle Christer and Daniel Gilliland work within Orchard’s Customer Services department as they both look to gain invaluable work experience in their chosen field. Danielle is working as a Service Desk Apprentice and Daniel is working as a Technical Author Apprentice. Danielle said, “If sixth form or university are not for you then try an apprenticeship where you will gain valuable experience which you will hold with you for life. You not only learn, you also get paid and meet fabulous new people who make you feel very welcome.”
Our apprenticeship scheme is recognised by The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) which has end to end responsibility for apprenticeships in England. The NAS has been designed to increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities and provide a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners.
According to NAS, apprenticeships bring ‘considerable value to organisations, employers, individuals and the economy’. Businesses are now increasingly realising the enormous benefits that apprenticeships create, not only in terms of a highly skilled workforce but also by boosting productivity and staff retention. Research shows they are an optimal way of training, developing and skilling people for the future, helping businesses secure a supply of people with the skills and qualities they need.
Kerry Borrowdale, Orchard’s Customer Services Manager commented “Customer Services has greatly benefitted from having apprentices in the team as it brings a renewed enthusiasm and is a route to harness fresh new talent. Their eagerness and willingness to learn is very rewarding for those involved in their career progression”.
The apprentices were sourced through ITEC North East Limited. ITEC’s Apprenticeships are designed by employers for employers. This provides organisations with the flexibility to define the criteria of each apprentice’s module for their NVQ whilst at the same time gaining the benefit of their skills.The feedback from Danielle and Daniel’s Training Consultant has been fantastic. They are progressing ahead of expectation and are to be put forward to level 3 NVQ in advance of anticipated timescales.
In reply to how the apprenticeship is benefiting her, Danielle said, “I am dealing hands on with different sections of every day work. Instead of learning what to do through a text book I am learning by tackling the situations that arise head on which has made a massive difference to myself, my confidence and my belief that work can be fun and not just a Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm chore.”
Orchard takes its social responsibilities very seriously and creating an apprenticeship scheme is an excellent way to work towards these responsibilities. Louise Crennell, HR Manager explained “Our four apprentices are gaining valuable work experience whilst completing their NVQ qualifications. In return, Orchard is able to nurture and mould them. They have very little work experience but we’ve found hard working individuals with the right attitude and at the end of the scheme they may have the opportunity to join Orchard on a permanent basis. We believe this is a great way to bring new people into our business.”
Alison Davis, Orchard’s Operations Director said, “This is not the first time Orchard has embarked on an Apprenticeship scheme. Back in 2005, we embarked on a similar scheme which worked really well and has resulted in one young man, Scott Stanley, gaining a reputation as one of our most respected Support Specialists. Not everyone wants to go down the University route and we feel that we should continue to offer our support to those who have the potential to thrive in our environment.”
From left to right:
Ian Shard, Managing Director, Daniel Gilliland, Danielle Christer, Richard Aydon, Louise Crennell, HR Manager and Liam Alexander
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Orchard Information Systems Limited
Newcastle Technopole, Kings Manor
Newcastle upon Tyne,
United Kingdom NE1 6PA
T: 0191 203 2500
F: 0191 230 2515
Reg Company No. 1900078