This month we interview Micheal Cantle, pictured here on the left with his Line Manager, Andy Best, from Serco at Thurrock Council. Micheal (spelt with ‘ea’ rather than the traditional ‘ae’) completed his IT Practitioner Apprenticeship with ITEC in December 2013.
ITEC: Micheal, what were your thoughts and plans about your future career when you were coming up to leaving school?
Micheal: I always wanted to do IT. I researched careers and jobs on the internet but didn’t really believe I would get a foot in the door until my Vocational Teacher at King John School told me about ITEC. I came along in my final year at school and completed the ECDL as part of an Alternative Education programme then applied to the apprenticeship programme once I was eligible to leave school.
ITEC: When you left college, why did you choose an apprenticeship over 6th form, college or university?
Micheal: Employers look for work experience and at college you don’t get the chance to gain in-depth real work experience. I didn’t enjoy school so hated the thought of staying on, 6th form to me would just be an extension of the aggravation of school.
ITEC: What do you feel you gained from your apprenticeship that you would not have got at school, college or university?
Micheal: I gained key experience and now have my foot in the door for a career in IT. Rather than watching someone draw diagrams on a board, doing things practically is a better way for me to learn
ITEC: What was it like working for your employer? What did your job entail?
Micheal: It has been enjoyable work experience. My manager and my work colleagues are supportive and believe in me. My manager, Andy, bases employment on ‘Can we live without him?’ Luckily for me, the answer was ‘no’ and I now have sustained employment. I’m doing 1st line support so I’m the first person someone comes to with a problem. I get some of them fixed there and then whereas other jobs are prioritised and given to the external team.
ITEC: What skills and knowledge have you gained through your apprenticeship?
Micheal: Key work experience and confidence, not just in work but in general. I can fix computers and I have gained a good all round foundation for a career in IT.
ITEC: What are you doing now?
Micheal: I am currently working for Serco as 1st Line Support at Thurrock Council on a permanent contract. This is as a direct result of my apprenticeship.
ITEC: What contribution has your apprenticeship made to where you are now in your career?
Micheal: My apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to show what I can do given the training and the opportunity to do so. Without my apprenticeship I feel I would still be at college wondering how to get into the world of IT!