Mar 2017 / Blog

A BRIDGEND teen has a head start in pursuing his dream career in IT after he responded to a local data company’s call to get involved in its very own ‘Apprenticeship Challenge’ as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2017.

Lloyd Stevens, 18, has put higher education study plans on hold and is pursuing a work-based role with Fields Data Recovery as one of just two candidates selected to complete the first ever apprenticeship scheme rolled out in the company’s 15-year history.

Lloyd joined the Bridgend company, which specialises in retrieving lost data from a full range of digital devices, when bosses decided to break with tradition after ACT Training challenged locally based businesses to ‘think apprentice’ in 2017.

Lloyd, said: “I went on to study for a BTEC Level 3 extended diploma in IT after school as it was always my favourite subject and had thought about then doing a higher education certificate, but when I saw this advertised it seemed the perfect opportunity to get into the world of work and try out the theory I had learned first-hand.

“IT apprenticeship vacancies are still quite rare, so I feel really privileged to have been one of just two selected to complete the course with Fields Data Recovery and I’m excited about the prospects open to me not only in my chosen field, but in my home town too, as a result.”

Lloyd and fellow Apprentice Data Recovery Technician, Lance Davidson, are studying for an IT Users Level 2 qualification with Fields Data Recovery after ACT Training set the challenge for local businesses and pledged in return to provide them with an ideal candidate in time for National Apprenticeship Week.

Running from March 6-9, National Apprenticeship Week 2017 brings together employers and apprentices from across England and Wales to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships and traineeships continue to have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

In Fields Data Recovery’s case this meant starting the year by advertising an apprenticeship vacancy for the first time ever in its 15-year history – a decision which has so far proved to be very positive indeed.

Michael Earl, Chief Engineering Manager, said: “We’ve always found recruitment difficult simply because what we do serves a very niche market and hiring within the sector can be challenging in its own right, so we thought we’d come at it from a different angle and train our employees from the ground up instead.

“Despite the specialist nature of our business we are constantly expanding and feel hugely fortunate to have found not one but two apprentices through ACT Training who have so far exhibited the flair, expertise and commitment required at what is a crucial time for the company, having just moved to larger premises last year.”

Established more than 25 years ago, ACT Training has centres in Aberdare, Barry, Blackwood, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Newport and Swansea and currently works with over 700 employers including British Gas, NatWest, Barclays, NHS Health Boards, Radisson Blu, Admiral and many more to place trainees in a wide variety of work-based roles.

As Wales’ leading training provider, the organisation decided to mark National Apprenticeship Week 2017 by calling on businesses in all sectors to come forward and discover more about the benefits apprenticeships can bring to both the business and individual involved as part of their very own ‘Apprenticeship Challenge’.

Andrew Cooksley, Managing Director at ACT Training, said: “The placement of Lance and Lloyd into roles they had long desired to experience, but had previously been unable to secure locally, is exactly why the ACT Apprenticeship Challenge was devised.

“We wanted to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2017 by highlighting the benefits apprenticeships now offer across a wide range of fields to both individuals and businesses nationwide, particularly when it comes to further expansion, and it seems this couldn’t have played out better in real time in the case of Fields Data Recovery.”