Apprentice of the Month - January 2017

Written on: 14 February 2017
Written by:Amanda McCombie

Congratulations to Joshua Di-Duca from bSoftware Solutions for his hard work on a critical company project . He will be receiving £50 in high street vouchers.

"I would like to nominate Joshua Di-Duca for Apprentice of the Month. Josh is now an invaluable member of our team at bSoftware, and has surpassed expectations at every opportunity.

Josh has just finished and signed off a client project which has been over a year in the making. This was a bespoke software development project for an outside company that we took up just over a year ago. The project itself was an extremely large piece of software to replace a mixture of Access databases and Excel spreadsheets that the company currently use to manage everything from staff timetables, through to project management.

At the time of taking the project on, we hit a busy period, which meant that we had to put Josh as the lead developer on this project. In all honesty, we were still expecting to dedicate a lot of overtime to this from other members of staff, as we were fully aware that we threw an apprentice completely in the deep end, working with technology they had not seen before, and going beyond the level they were currently training towards.

Josh's skill shone through, and he shown just how capable he was. Throughout this last year, he has surpassed every expectation, both from me, and the client. The software was delivered to specification and without Josh, and his ability to learn things quickly and implement them, we would have had to turn down the project. In total, Josh carried out around 95% of the work on this project and single-handedly coded over 100,000 lines of C# code.

Time and time again Josh has shown initiative and dedication beyond expectation by working outside of office hours, and learning new skills to aid the project. Josh is now a full member of the team, now training towards his Level 4, and I am very confident that he will stay with us beyond that, in higher roles. Josh has now began his next project as a lead developer, and is showing the same attributes to this project, as with the last.

In addition to this, Josh has put in extensive testing work on our repair management software; Repair Pilot. This was relaunched back in September 2016, and Josh carried out the lion's share of testing, ensuring it was bug free for the release date.

I can't think of anyone who deserves recognition such as this more than Josh. He should be extremely proud of himself."

-Shaun Brereton (Director at bSoftware Solutions)

We would also like to say a big thank you to everyone that nominated. Please see below for the other great nominations.

Comms-Byte would like to vote Adam Richards for the award of Apprentice of the Month due to his diligent attitude and hardworking personality. He is a joy to have around the office and out to customer sites. Here are just a few of the reasons for our nomination:

  1. Our customers have given exceptional feedback about Adam and his behaviour. To quote a customer directly, when Adam was recently onsite on a customer’s site, she observed that Adam is ‘really knowledgeable at such a young age’. Fantastic effort!
  1. Adam does not just follow instructions carefully and efficiently, he also uses his own initiative to help others and complete tasks.
  1. His punctuality is commendable as he reaches on time every morning and begins working immediately on arrival. There is an eagerness and a willingness to come to work, which is admirable.
  1. Adam is also very quick to learn and pick up new skills and concepts very quickly. Within a short time, Adam has learned valuable information about networking and the systems we use to monitor and fix problems.
  1. Adam has a great presence and he carries this wherever he goes, whether that is in the office or out to customer’s sites. He is always polite and participates actively in group discussions, which is always helpful, as we like to listen to Adam’s views and opinions.

As mentioned before, these are a just a few of the reasons why we feel that Adam deserves Apprentice of the Month. We are extremely proud of his development within our company and we have noticed how much he has progressed and settled into our company in just a few months. A truly valuable role and a great personality.

I would like to nominate Claudia Crofts as Apprentice of the month for January 2017. Claudia has been a key member of the team since she started and we have enjoyed watching her confidence grow both in her work and socially with the rest of the team.

Claudia is involved with small development projects, technical support, customer requests, web development and has recently been part of a rebranding project for one of our products of which she has helped make key decisions.

We have spent the 1st few weeks of January looking at the long-term strategy and direction of the company and again Claudia has been involved in the entire process because of her in depth knowledge of our products, her understanding of our customers as well as her experiencing all of the challenges we had to face as a business in 2016. As part of our decision in relation to the overall development plan for the business over the next 12 months Claudia has decided to focus on learning a completely new development language, which will help assist the company in its long-term goals. This is something both Claudia and the rest of the team are extremely excited about.

Finally to top it all off - Claudia has only gone and got yet another Distinction in her course results. This is her 5th Distinction in a row so if that doesn’t warrant Apprentice of the Month then I don’t know what will :)

Liam has jumped into his level 4 ITPRO Apprenticeship with great interest and keenness to learn along with taken on a lot more responsibility within the team to extend his knowledge and skills as an IT Support Technician.

Within the IT Support team Liam has formed a great team with Alex Scott (IT Support Technician) and it is great watching them both working together trying to resolve IT issues which are put to them both  from our IT Support Helpdesk. Liam will also go out of his way to find a remedy to resolve an IT Support issue when he does not know the answer, such as using GOOGLE or the support from his team members. This all about Liam trying to meet his new targets and goals I have set him and the team. Which is to improve our customer service and communication with all our customers and where possible going the extra mile. Liam is implementing this all the time in his work role and it is great so see now he is doing this on his apprenticeship course work where I have seen Liam last report where Liam has gained learner of the week.

Liam is now setting his position within the team and has informed me where he wants to go, Liam has great interest in IT security and I have just received the following email from Georgia Ward (IT Instructor)  “Liam has been a fantastic learner this week, he provided some great ideas to the session. Also the assignment was completed to a high standard, including some great security recommendations. Well done Liam!” - Georgia Ward

Frimley hospital has been one of my customers for a number of years, They  went to tender which we won. The devices on site increased from 70 to 358 with a new role of  print care assistant .

Originally I had a person all lined up to start in June,  George through Baltics help filled the vacancy  in July and had to hit the road running . The deployment has been far from smooth and was due to be completed Aug 16 , we still have 20 to install .

The reason I nominate George, is he  has adapted quickly, come up with ideas to improve the level of service . I have walked around the site and receive great praise especially the project team  on how George resolves issues promptly and in a professional manner. George  has become very popular with my service technicians . Christmas time 28-30 Dec , George was on his own and solved many issues that would have involved my technicians .

I along with my team are very pleased with George.

"Guy is now an integral part of the Lindy Technical Support team.  He has worked hard to develop his knowledge and skills and  now makes important decisions with the minimum of supervision.

His merits and distinctions for course work are evidence of someone who aims for quality in his work and pays attention to detail. This is also reflected in his day to day role within our company. Guy is well respected throughout the Company as someone who can be relied on to get the job done.

He has a superb work ethic, his time keeping and attendance are 100% and everything he does is done with a positive attitude and enforces the company values.

He is an excellent ambassador for the apprentice scheme and we are all very proud to have him working at LINDY."

Jamil joined ISAAC Intelligence in mid-November 2016 and from day 1 has shown himself to be an ambitious and dedicated young man, becoming a valuable member of our team.

Jamil joined us as an Apprentice Software Developer and has spent his initial weeks learning why ISAAC Intelligence exist, and the ins and outs of the solutions that we develop and support for our customers, proving himself to be a quick learner. As part of his ongoing training, Jamil was tasked with creating an internal Knowledge Base for the wider ISAAC Support Team, to enable consistency in approach across each of our operatives. Jamil has so far (it is an ever-growing resource) produced an excellent and much used new business tool.

Additionally, Jamil also made it clear to us when he started that he had some web development experience, and although not part of our core offering, the process is similar to some of the developments we do within Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint. As we had just embarked on a top to bottom review and refresh of our own company website, we decided to give Jamil the opportunity to carry out the development work largely on his own, with support from our senior team.  Jamil has by far exceeded all of our expectations and we are about to complete our final review and test of our newly developed website which Jamil has virtually completed single-handed. An absolutely stellar performance from Jamil, whilst at the same time continuing to be an integral part of the customer facing Support Team.

We are all very excited to launch our new ISAAC Intelligence website, at, designed and built by our very own Baltic Apprentice, Jamil Stewart!

Elliott has become a key member of the Unify support team, taking on tasks far beyond what would be expected of him. Elliott has picked up and can now apply multiple skills and functions that usually take a lot longer to grasp, and is considered internally a hot prospect for the future.

Unify have been understaffed in the support department recently due to a new influx of projects and Elliott has stepped up to ensure the customer service that we provide to our end users has been up to the highest standard whilst his senior colleagues have been working on other projects.

It is a testament to Elliott that the senior support and engineering staff can trust him to, in Elliott’s own words “Run the show” whilst the other staff are occupied on the new projects.

Elliot has done so well, that the senior staff have requested his presence on Unify’s biggest ever single project, rolling out our customer hardware, throughout Denmark, which will be a great learning and life experience for him.

Elliotts enthusiasm and personality is infectious and he always brings everyones mood up with his personality and unique humour.

All this and he still makes a decent cup of tea!

I would like to nominate Luke Kulczak as Apprentice of the month, he has become a vital asset to the IT department in such a short term, which is amazing, and I hope this progress can continue, he’s settled in very well within the team, and has picked things up very quickly.

He really has gone above and beyond at such an early stage for his apprenticeship; He has implemented a whole new WIFI solution across the entire company, while maintaining a max strength connection across all of our 3 units, considering he’s had no network experience prior, I was very impressed with how he approached the project using SMART, and having a good plan to tackle it. We have a lot of onsite engineers that come to the company that need to access the internet as well as customers, and since we didn’t have a stable WIFI connection at all, this has been a really big help.

He’s also been working on a ‘Time Tracker’ project using VB.NET and mySQL languages; the main purpose for this was so we can start identifying where time is being spent for the IT team, that way we can review and analyse where IT’s time is being spent the most, and to see whether we can come up with any permanent, long term solutions to help these problems that occur, this has also massively helped measure IT’s ROI.

All of this hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed and has already received a lot of praise by employee’s and management staff for his valiant efforts.

I would like to nominate Jake Ward from Citrus Suite Ltd.

Jake has completed his Level3 Apprenticeship with ourselves and is now working towards his Level4 Apprenticeship.

He is a person who is committed to his job and takes great pride in his work.

Jake has become a very confident member of our team, who always goes out of his way to help others.

His level of skills have improved significantly.

I feel Jake deserves the Apprentice of the Month award as he gives above and beyond in the workplace.

She’s had done exceptionally well in the last 6 months, and now she’s halfway through her apprenticeship she is coming up to basic graduate level in computer programming.  Which considering the highly technical nature of the role, is quite an achievement.

We’ve never really babied her, and we treat her like any other member of the team, she gets real projects to complete, and lots of support when needed. This approach has worked well for us, as she already has some features live within our cloud based software product; and clients love them.

She’s a very polite, professional and friendly person to have around, and a real good team player.  I know she also puts everything into the training side of things, and completes the modules to a high standard.

I do not know what criteria is used for selecting an Apprentice of Month, however I cannot believe there is anyone her age who is contributing so much in this field, and who has come up to speed in such a short space of time.

Thomas has just had his 6-month review at Mediaworks and the transformation in his attitude to work, commitment and performance has been exceptional, culminating in a fantastic December and January. In general Tom’s timekeeping is excellent, he is always on top of his tasks in our CRM system and he identifies any gaps early, offering to help other members of the team if his day is not fully planned, which is much appreciated by other members of the team.

Thomas now has his own set of clients that he works on weekly, looking to drive up performance and over the past 2 months’ their results have been exceptional with companies turning over more than ever and the charity accounts he looks after driving more traffic, sign ups and donations than previously. Tom is extremely diligent in following our internal processes and during the last month has made a number of recommendations around how these can be improved further. This commitment to continuous improvement is much welcomed.

Further to this he has led a learn and share session with the rest of the PPC team, where he explained what made up the perfect PPC structure and answered any questions. His confidence in presenting the subject matter has grown in the 6 months he has been here and he is much more engaged and active in team meetings, so much so that we are going to introduce Tom into client meetings from this month.

I would like to nominate Caleb Gibson. He has been with us just over 2 years now. He has matured and grown into a respected member of the team.

We have a highly specialized product with highly specialized clients. Caleb has already gained the skills, through his own hard work and determination, to carry out small installs on his own all over the country. We are positive he will be capable of handling the overseas projects in the near future. He is very confident and we trust him implicitly with our clients, both face to face and on the phone.

He is also assisting with our helpdesk by being a first line agent.

He has passed further qualifications internally and is extremely eager to add to his growing knowledge and skill base by undertaking further courses available to him.

He has even taken on the responsibility to assist in training new starters.

He gets nothing but high praise from the directors and founders of the company. We are going to do everything in our power to support Caleb and to ensure his future is with us here at Pixit Media.

We also appreciate the support we get from Baltic to have given us this opportunity to take on Caleb.

We have extremely high hopes for Caleb, and are sure he will go far within Pixit Media.


Apprentice of the year

In the month of February we like to do something different. Each year during National Apprenticeship Week we announce our Apprentice of the Year.

Simply send your written nomination to along with the following;

  • Name of nominee
  • Company name
  • Written nomination (200 words minimum)

Read the full details here

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Written on: 14 February 2017
Written by:Amanda McCombie