Mar 2017 / Blog

A FORMER bricklayer is building the foundations of a new career in IT after responding to a data company’s call to get involved in its very own ‘Apprenticeship Challenge’ as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2017.

Lance Davidson, from Barry, put dreams of working in the digital world on hold upon leaving school and opted to study bricklaying instead as one of the only college courses available locally, and which was suited to his qualifications at the time.

Eight years on Lance is finally pursuing his real passion, however, after Fields Data Recovery in Bridgend, which specialises in retrieving lost data from a full range of digital devices, decided to break with tradition and recruit its first ever apprentice in partnership with ACT Training.

Lance, 24, said: “After roles in construction, retail and administration I’d taken some time out from work to decide where I really wanted to be when I spotted the advert for Fields Data Recovery through ACT Training, and it is just what I’ve always wanted to do.

“I’d always been keen to get into computers but bricklaying was the only option at the time I left school even though it wasn’t for me – this apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to experience something I’m really passionate about in a real working environment, and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s worked out.”

Lance and fellow Apprentice Data Recovery Technician, Lloyd Stevens, are studying for an IT Users Level 2 qualification with Fields Data Recovery after ACT Training challenged local businesses to ‘think apprentice’ in 2017, 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 for 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.