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 offering custom learning routes, apprenticeship programmes present a great opportunity to help bridge the gap - both bolstering recruitment and introducing fresh knowledge and perspectives too.
That’s why, 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’ contributions to the team – plus their willingness to dig deep and develop their expertise – we’re keen to showcase and celebrate each and every one of them.
So, first up, it’s our technical architect, Jordan Gallier. Take it away, Jord….
Why did you choose a career in the IT and tech sector?
I have always had a strong interest in technology, from being about three years old on windows 95 and windows 98. As my mother used to say, I was a bit of a wiz – and she always used to leave me to it!
After finishing school, I was set on pursuing a job in IT – and had been keen on the idea of an apprenticeship from the offset. Previously working at another company that went into administration, Mike gladly took me under his wing.
From coming in with next to no knowledge of the day to day working of networks and systems, Central provided me with the resources I needed to grow in my career.
Why was an apprenticeship the right choice for you?
It skyrocketed my career – giving me the chance to learn and gain experience at the same time. Working at a managed service provider (MSP) specifically, I have also been able to quickly progress in my role, becoming a lead engineer at Central with over eight years’ experience under my belt.
And how did you first find out about Central’s apprenticeship programme?
Central’s details were provided to me by my previous employer – it just so happened that I lived quite locally, and I drove, so it was easy to get to the office. It was a no-brainer for both Central and myself.
The opportunities that Central quickly placed on the table filled me with great confidence on this being the best step of my career.
What made Central stand out from other employers?
Central as an MSP was local, had a very experienced and knowledgeable team, provided a good sense of security when it came to the path they were taking in the industry, and there were great benefits for career progression that got me to where I am today.
Sum up your role in three words:
Collaborative, team-oriented, technical lead – I suppose that’s four, but they’re the perfect summary of my position at Central!
Can you tell us what a typical working day looks like for you?
This can vary, as my responsibilities at Central are very vast – and I love that no two days are the same. As a technical architect, I get involved in pre-sales – which is essentially providing system specifications for our clients.
But my role also involves lots of hands on work too – from implementing security solutions and provisioning new servers for customers clusters, to travelling down to customers to help them out with their own projects.
Finish the sentence – the biggest misconception surrounding apprenticeships is…
That it’s just cheap labour for companies, which is definitely not true. Organisations like to work with next-generation talent to help progress their career – and bringing an apprentice on board is the start of an investment into staff.
Take myself as an example, I have worked hard for over eight years and have progressed to now play a key senior role in the business.
What’s the most valuable skill you’ve learnt so far?
Work hard – not just for the business, but for yourself – and you will be rewarded.
How do you see your career path developing?
Having worked myself up to being a technical engineer and, more recently, a trusted technical architect, my career at Central has already developed significantly.
Moving forward alongside the management team, the ultimate goal is to continue to compete in a highly saturated market and ensure we always stay at the top of our game with the services we provide.
Finally, do you have any advice for would-be apprentices?
Start your career at an MSP that allows you to be guided by highly experienced and knowledgeable colleagues, whilst giving the freedom to carve your own path. It’s an opportunity that I’m extremely grateful for, and wouldn’t change if I had the opportunity to go back.
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.