An apprenticeship programme aimed at school leavers from rural backgrounds has been launched today by software and IT services company IPL.
The three-year scheme, known as Bright, is aimed at young people with a keen interest in IT looking to kick-start a career in the industry.
During the course of the three years, apprentices will work towards an NVQ in the firm’s internal IT department.
Successful candidates will act as the first line of support for IPL’s 300 staff when they encounter computer issues.
The company claims that this will help the apprentices’ build expertise in an ever-changing field, allowing them to work towards a developer position at the firm.
Those on the scheme will also encounter a number of different sectors including banking and finance and the public sector.
The skills that an apprentice will be able to develop on IPL’s programme include troubleshooting computer and network problems, face-to-face, telephone and email support and assisting with the rollout of new computer systems while ensuring critical data is backed up.
Apprentices already on the scheme have provided good feedback, describing the experience as “immensely valuable” and recommending it to others interested in an IT career.
“The scheme mentors are incredibly supportive and being able to get involved in the running of a busy IT department from day one has been brilliant,” claimed John Gay, a Bright apprentice.
“This scheme is a fantastic way for bright young people to apply their knowledge and enthusiasm for IT in a dynamic and growing company,” claimed Lyn Penfold, IPL business services director.
“We provide a great learning environment and support our apprentices as they work towards recognised qualifications,” she added.
For some, the fact that the Bright programme is aimed at those in rural areas will come as good news, following research that revealed poor broadband schemes in less urban areas can negatively affect a child’s education.