It’s no secret that the tech sector is facing increasing pressure on the employment front – not least because of the national IT skills shortage. 

But with custom learning routes available via apprenticeship programmes, organisations can not only help bridge the gap by enhancing recruitment options, but facilitate the ideation of fresh knowledge and perspectives too. 

Here at Central HQ, we’ve had a scheme dedicated to nurturing tomorrow’s talent since 2009 – set up by our very own client director, Mike Dunleavy.

And because we’re so proud of our apprentices’ willingness to dig deep and develop their expertise, and understand the impact they can have on a team first-hand, we’re keen to showcase and celebrate each and every one of them. Amidst the annual National Apprenticeship Week campaign, running from 6-10 February, this feels a particularly timely installment of this series, too. 

So, next up, it’s our help desk support officer, Finlay Grady. Take it away, Finlay…

Why did you choose a career in the IT and tech sector?

I was interested in tech from a young age — particularly gaming — and I was always keen to get involved in the ‘build side’ of this space. Whilst not exactly the same, following the IT and tech route has a similar ‘hands on’ appeal for me.

Why was an apprenticeship the right choice for you?

I’ve never been the biggest fan of academic work, so I wanted to go down a more practical route to develop my skill set.

And how did you first find out about Central’s apprenticeship programme?

In 2021, I approached an agency to help me find the best-fit employer, and they secured me an interview with Central. The rest is history!

What made Central stand out from other employers?

The opportunity the team was offering seemed more aligned with what I wanted, in terms of the scope of work, ‘on the ground’ experience, and overall culture of the organisation.

I’d previously been offered a social media marketing position at another company, but it just wasn’t technical enough for me.

Sum up your role in three words:

Varied. Teamwork. Resolution.

Can you tell us what a typical working day looks like for you?

As a help desk support officer, I’m largely responsible for responding to tickets that require first-line resolution. This could be anything from time-sensitive security concerns and general technical difficulties, to setting up new devices and resetting passwords.

Finish the sentence – the biggest misconception surrounding apprenticeships is…

That it’s a ‘cop out route’. Of course, it’s different to traditional university education, but there are so many qualifications available via apprenticeships.

What’s more, you’re able to get stuck straight into applied, real-life examples — working on something with a purpose, rather than being cooped up in a classroom. It sounds clichéd, but it’s great to feel like part of a team too.

What’s the most valuable skill you’ve learnt so far?

I couldn’t pinpoint anything specific, because I’ve learnt so much during the programme. But I’m so much more technically skilled than I was at the beginning — and understand such a vast and varied scope of work now.

How do you see your career path developing?

In all honesty, having only completed my apprenticeship in December, I’m not sure where my path will take me. And that’s okay!

As with any industry, there are so many aspects to the IT landscape, that it feels difficult to make a decision now. However, I’m enjoying what I do right now, and look forward to seeing my role develop organically, as and when the time is right.

Finally, do you have any advice for would-be apprentices?

Don’t doubt your abilities, or whether the path is the right one to follow — if you want to do an apprenticeship, just go for it. There are so many options out there, so there will be something for everyone, at any age or stage in their career.

If you’re keen to speak to Central about upcoming opportunities for apprentices or more generally, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 


Central Networks are a strategic technology partner. Excellent technology is a given, customer service, trust and long-term relationships are what drive our business. We support CEOs, Heads of IT, IT technicians and transformation directors to ensure technology provides an edge to their organisations.

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