South Staffordshire PLC is an integrated services group with two highly regarded separate regulated water supply businesses, providing water to around 1.6 million customers in the South Staffordshire and Cambridge regions, coupled with the delivery of related non-regulated specialist services within two main divisions, Echo and SSI Services. There are over 3000 users within the business requiring IT support, which is certainly no easy task.
We spoke to End User & Application Support Team Leader, Mark Bowd, about how taking on multiple IT apprentices has benefited the business, and he gave us an idea of what they get up to on a day to day basis:
“There are a multitude of different daily tasks that can include account management, troubleshooting hardware and software problems, installing and removing applications, user permissions within the service (NTFS), office desk moves, new office integrations and building and deploying new equipment just to name a few.”
There are currently three apprentices working on IT programmes within South Staffs, two of which have progressed after completing their Level 3 qualifications, and are currently working on Level 4 IT Professional apprenticeships. Mark explains how he has seen them progress over the course of their apprenticeships:
“They have all gone from strength to strength, especially Rumel who was my 1st Level 3 apprentice (currently studying Level 4) who has now been promoted to Problem Manager for Group Services IT here at South Staffordshire PLC.”
We asked Level 4 IT Professional apprentice Rumel Miah about his promotion and how his duties and responsibilities have changed since starting at South Staffordshire:
“When I joined in July 2015, my role has been to look after over 3000 customers that were entitled to IT support. The support listed the following; account management, troubleshooting problems with the customer’s computer, installing and removing applications, user permissions within the server, office desk moves, new office integrations, building and deploying new kits to customers and many more day to day responsibilities.
My new responsibility in 2017 is now to ensure that the service desk first time fixes are being in met within the SLA and KPI. My role consists of problem management which is currently the process of moving over. This new role offered to me would mean that I would need to be on top of my knowledge and start to become aware of new trends that may cause a problem in the workplace and start thinking of proactive solutions that would minimise the IT problems.
I believe I have made excellent progress in my workplace and in the training scheme. I am looking forward to see what the future holds for me as I am looking to gain more qualifications to allow me to perform better in my workplace.”
Sukhjeevan Samrai, who is also currently on our Level 4 IT Professional programme, explained why he chose the apprenticeship route:
“Apprenticeships for me are the way forward as you can gain valuable working experience whilst you earn a salary and also gain nationally recognised qualifications. I also enjoy meeting new people and working alongside a team as I can gain valuable knowledge within the IT field. I chose to do an apprenticeship as this was the best option for me to learn on the job.
I feel I have progressed massively since starting my level 4 apprenticeship here, as I have gained a lot more confidence when speaking with customers and clients over the phone and face to face. I also feel that I have learned a lot as all members of my team have taught me individual things which will help me complete tasks to a higher standard. I can now do tasks independently and have been given responsibility of the tablets to complete. I have progressed a lot since starting and continue to learn new things weekly. “
Level 3 IT Apprentice Ben Woodcock told us about how his impression of apprenticeships has changed since starting on programme:
“My initial thoughts about taking an apprenticeship were a bit mixed as I love the idea of being paid while in education but I wasn’t too sure about the grade of the qualification I could get, but after I started at this company and started with Baltic I realised that I can achieve the same qualification as I would if I went to college or university.
I have been on a few courses already in the 5 months that I have been here and the quality of the training has been excellent in my opinion. They have kept it professional over a webinar which isn’t an easy task while also keeping it fun and interesting and making everyone in the webinar know each other and feel comfortable.
I feel like I have progressed a lot in terms of learning new things and learning what IT in a big company actually means. Since I have been here I have gone from knowing nothing about Corporate Software issues and Group Policy to being taught this and now I am able to fix issues without being guided on how to do it.”
We asked Mark to sum up his experience working with Baltic Training so far:
“It’s been fantastic. Great support from start to finish, great end to end service! Especially when I needed help finding my latest two apprentices in a short time frame you really came through with another two great candidates so I would 100% recommend you to other organisations.
We had a bad experience with our previous supplier so I was worried on how things would go but over the past several years your training programme and help giving towards my lads has been fantastic.”
For more information about South Staffordshire PLC - http://www.south-staffordshire.com
Article written by Freya King