CIPHR are on the look-out for apprentices!

CIPHR have been part of the QA apprenticeship program since 2012. We have had great success with our apprentice recruits and are eager to give other apprentices a similar opportunity with us. An active development plan and a challenging environment has meant that 92% of our apprentices have been retained in employment with CIPHR.

Here are some CIPHR employees who have first-hand experience with a variety of apprenticeships.

Rob's experience - Advanced Level Apprenticeship in IT Software Web & Telecoms Professionals.

My main goals for the apprenticeship were to get the most out of the training, learn as much as possible and to have a job in IT at the end of the year.
I learnt a huge amount in the apprenticeship which laid a great foundation for building a career at CIPHR

Rob studied the Advanced Level Apprenticeship in IT Software Web & Telecoms Professionals. After completion of his apprenticeship he was hired as a Service Desk Analyst, shortly moving on to become an IT Support Analyst. Find out more.

What did the apprenticeship include?

The apprenticeship consisted of around 16 weeks in a year at a training centre and the rest of the year in the workplace. The qualifications were two City & Guilds diplomas and 5 IT based qualifications in hardware, networking and Microsoft Technologies.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I have always had an interest in IT and had performed basic levels of IT support in previous jobs so began looking for internships and apprenticeships in IT. I applied through QA and took the interview at CIPHR which went really well, so I accepted the job offer and haven’t looked back.

What were the strongest points of your experience?

I rarely had a dull day. The work at CIPHR was varied and challenging with a lot to learn from lots of employees. I learnt a variety of skills which were useful in the workplace and for the future.

What was the process once you were recruited at CIPHR?

I spent a couple of weeks initially within IT; getting to know people and shadowing to understand the work that they do. I then spent a three months on the service desk and learnt a huge amount about the product itself.
Following this, I did a month in Service Delivery to learn about the client based work that we do before briefly going back to Service Desk and then into IT.

I really benefited from this since I got to experience a lot of the technical jobs around the company and understand the sorts of issues that got raised to IT as well as what was required to fix them.

How do you feel about working for CIPHR?

CIPHR is the best company I have worked for; there is a very strong social side to the company, a very friendly environment, with lots of helpful and knowledgeable people as well as great benefits to working here. I have not only learnt a lot in the last two and a half years but also really enjoyed my time working here.

Rob's top tips for new apprentices:

Make the most of the apprenticeship ask lots of questions and learn as much as possible, the more you put into it the more you will get out of it.

Matt's experience – Matt studied the QA Hardware and Networking Apprenticeship.

Once completed, Matt's initial role was as a Service Desk Analyst, after gaining an in depth knowledge of the product and building the necessary skills Matt moved to the Service Delivery team where he now works as a Trainee Service Delivery Analyst.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I decided to do an apprenticeship as an alternative to university mainly because of the cost involved with doing a degree. I was also keen to leave the learning environment and work in a professional environment. The apprenticeship allowed me to gain useful experience with the perk of getting paid.

What was the course like?

The course itself was very useful, the tutor was very knowledgeable and assisted us as we did the assessments. The QA assessor was also very good at making sure we kept up to date with our portfolio. Working at CIPHR allowed me to gain workplace experience.

The QA apprenticeship was very useful in allowing me to gain workplace experience, as well as achieving useful qualifications.

What was the process like once you were hired full-time?

I had been working on the Service Desk for some time and I showed interest in moving to Service Delivery. My manager had confidence that I would be able to do the job well, so when I put myself forward I got the job.

What were the strongest points of the whole experience?

CIPHR have provided me with excellent training in their products as well as allowing me to improve my skills in software such as Excel and SQL.

Matt's top tips for new apprentices:

Be proactive, CIPHR will recognise this and it will be very useful in the apprenticeship.

Kristel's experience - Developer .Net.

Kristel is in the process of completing her Developer.Net apprenticeship whilst working on the Service Desk as a Client Support Analyst.

The staff are very friendly, eager to help me progress and much more open to giving me a lot of responsibility with my work.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

When I finished college I didn't know what I wanted to study if I was to go on to university, nor did I really want to stay in education any longer. I had spent a lot of time looking for office based jobs but was told I didn't have enough experience. My sister recommended QA apprenticeships to me, so I forwarded my CV and contact details over and was contacted a few days later to arrange an interview.

What was the interview process like?

I felt like they were there to help you, rather than try to catch you out. I had an ability test and genuineness interview with QA where they assessed what sort of course would be the best suited for me. A week after my QA interview I had a phone call asking if I was free for an interview the next day. I loved the company and the people so started a week later.

How has CIPHR supported you?

Staff members that used to be apprentices have offered a helping hand and will answer any queries I may have regarding my course.

My manager has also been very helpful in offering to give one on one training courses and letting me take some time out when the volume of work has died down to focus on completing my QA projects.

I have been given internal training courses which has helped me massively in my job role. I feel as though if I was to fall behind with my workload, I would have all the support I needed available to help me through. The training courses are in a good location, have very enthusiastic staff and decent sized training rooms.

What were the strongest points of the experience?

I had two job offers but I chose to go with CIPHR as the staff seemed more welcoming and were more enthusiastic about the work that they do. The job provided me with better future job prospects as a result of doing training and gaining qualifications, whilst gaining work experience at the same time.

CIPHR spoke about how they have taken on a lot of apprentices over the last few years, and how well it has worked for them. They wanted to help me learn and progress in to a role that suited me and my abilities which I found encouraging.

Kristel's top tips for new apprentices:

Be prepared to work hard and prove yourself; just like you would at school or college to achieve good grades. This will help define your future, if you work efficiently then you should have nothing to worry about. Have an open mind and say yes when people ask if you can do things for them or ask if you would like to try new things. Don’t set yourself impossibly high expectations.

Some of our employees have joined CIPHR in graduate trainee roles and have been on development programs in the organisation transitioning through various teams. Others have started out as apprentices, balancing their time on the Service Desk and coursework.

CIPHR is growing rapidly, can you help us deliver state-of-the-art IT solutions