Why business should hire apprentices? Our story

Why business should hire apprentices? Our story

On the occasion of the National Apprenticeship Week 2016, Urban Network co-founders Perry and Stuart shared their thoughts on why Urban Network has taken on apprentices and on their positives impact on the business.

“We knew that we were going to grow the business, and as such we knew that we would have to scale the workforce in advance of the business need”, said Stuart Willcocks, Managing Director of Urban Network.“This is a challenging task under any circumstance, getting the right people is paramount, but also having them come in to the business and be productive as they are needed, rather than after the pain is felt makes it all the more difficult. Commercially hiring apprentices has many benefits, and of course we considered all of these and the advantages they afforded us, but our choice ran deeper than simply making it stack up financially.”

Perry Ashby, Urban Network CEO added “We wanted to feel like we were doing more than a straight forward hire of a new technician, we wanted to give an opportunity to a young person and give something back. Both Stuart and I benefitted from apprenticeships as part of our journey into business, and speaking personally I found the support, guidance and mentorship invaluable in shaping both my career and life. From this aspect, the modern apprenticeship scheme had huge appeal to us and the partner we chose made the process of hiring very easy to boot. From the business side we knew we would be getting a motivated, mouldable keen young individual who was ready to commit to a career path within our industry. We would be able to shape them to work in the Urban Network way, with our company ethos and ethic underpinning their development. However the feeling of contributing to the development of our chosen apprentice meant that we could also feel a sense of corporate and personal social responsibility. We knew that we would have this young person with us for at least a year, and statistically a full employee for long after. We invested a lot of time in inducting them in to the business to make them productive swiftly, and then further invested in helping them complete their courses. We were fortunate that our guys have always delivered on their own development, often leading their classes in their work. The pride form Urban Network’s side at their achievements has been a great bonus, professionally and personally, and our guys continue to be excellent technicians in training. The success we have seen inspired us to create our own continuation of their training with the Urban Network Analyst Trainee Programme, something that again we are incredibly proud of.”

We have had great success with the apprenticeship programme, and in the future will definitely go through this process again. We have true Urban Network technicians, great guys, and have the warm feeling of helping young people achieve careers that will shape their futures.

Read more success stories of our apprentices here and here.

Inspired? Find out more about our work life and job vacancies here

Apprenticeships – Another success story

Apprenticeships – Another success story

Kelvin has been with Urban Network for over a year as a Helpdesk Analyst apprentice. Today, he shares his inspirational thoughts on his decision to choose an apprenticeship with us and how this has opened the door to a career in IT.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship in IT?

IT is an ever-changing industry, I am always interested in learning new skills and educating myself. IT keeps me constantly challenged and is always teaching me new things.
Initially a family friend who works in IT suggested that I look into studying networking. The more I researched the subject, the more I realised it is something I want to be doing.
I took up IT networking in college and studied this for 2 years. Throughout my time here, I learnt a lot and decided that I would carry on expanding my knowledge of the subject and therefore decided to do an apprenticeship in IT.
After starting my apprenticeship, I fell for IT even more as it not only taught me about the technological side but also helped me learn about businesses in general while letting me help others.

Tell us your experience working at Urban Network

Before I started my apprenticeship with Urban Network, I had some basic training in the technical aspect of things. As aforementioned, I had done 2 years of networking training at college. However, this was just the basics and I still have a lot to learn.
I have gained a variety of new qualifications via my apprenticeship consisting of MTA’s and ITIL certification. As well as qualifications I have also gained a large amount of experience dealing with both technical and business issues.
Urban Network take good care of me and provide me with half a day of training per week to study for exams.

How do you think your apprenticeship will benefit your career?

Before starting my apprenticeship, I had some basic knowledge of IT systems, this was helpful but nothing major. Through my apprenticeship I have developed a wider technical skillset and am now much more qualified to be working in IT.
My apprenticeship has given me insight into the workings of a business/workplace and has taught me a lot about how businesses work. I believe this experience will help with my future career.
My advice to any young people out there thinking of taking an apprenticeship is to do it. It is definitely something you should consider as it helps you to grow as a person and is extremely rewarding.
I want to stay in the IT industry and work my way up the ladder. I have a lot to learn but I hope that someday I can be a great technician like some of the engineers I work with at Urban Network.

“At Urban Network, we offer IT solutions for small/medium businesses predominantly within the London area. Our service offerings are very diverse and as a result our helpdesk team will not know the severity of an incoming call until they process it.

Kelvin has been positioned on the Helpdesk from day one, he joined from college and as such had no business experience and fair to say, a rawness with potential IT issues and the impact they have on any business.

Kelvin has been with us for just over a year now, and it’s amazing to see the transition he has made. Kelvin has always had a friendly and committed character, but within the last 12 months he has really matured as an individual, his level of commitment and loyalty to Urban Network and our clients is very noticeable. His role as our Father Christmas in December further highlights his devotion to Urban Network. Our client survey statistics confirm that Kelvin continues to deliver a high level of communication and service.

We are delighted that following Kelvin’s success on his graduation, he has enrolled onto Urban Network’s post graduate scheme, which is focused around the continued development of the individuals IT skills. We see Kelvin having a very bright future in IT and hope his progression remains at Urban Network.”

Steve Kirby

COO

Inspired? Find out more about our work life and job vacancies here

Meet our apprentice – Miz

Meet our apprentice – Miz

Miz is our Helpdesk Analyst apprentice and has been with Urban Network for more than a year. Today, he shares his inspirational thoughts on his decision to choose an Apprenticeship over university and the proudest achievements during his apprenticeship with us.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship in IT?

I began my apprenticeship at Urban Network back in April 2014 after deciding that I wanted to have a career in IT, and knowing that my best method of learning was more ‘hands on’.

Tell us your experience working at Urban Network

It has been a really good year I feel, I have been able to learn and work alongside some great people who have really helped in my development. Urban Network have been really welcoming and I do feel they are a great company to work for. All staff welcomed me and involved me in the day to day activities, everyone is friendly, helpful and made me feel part of the Urban Network family. I have had 10 weeks structured training with Microsoft qualified trainers through the apprentice scheme. I passed 5 Microsoft exams, and a number of City & Guilds.

How do you think your apprenticeship will benefit your career?

I believe I have grown massively in the last year, increasing my knowledge, and learning many new skills while also being productive in my role. I have now all but completed my apprenticeship term, and I have developed and increased my existing skills, and added many more. Urban Network have presented me with new training opportunities and a job after I complete my apprenticeship that will give me some new personal challenges, and a real path to grow more in to the IT world.

“As an MSP, Urban Network Helpdesk support many technologies for organisations in vertical markets, even for experienced engineers to join and get an understanding of our clients, it takes several months. Entering the industry with no experience, Miz has not only studied for his graduation path, he has absorbed the knowledge of our portfolio of products and services, but more importantly understood our clients. His approach to customer service is extremely focused and his ability to retain information about our varied client base, aids him to deliver an excellent level of service. Our client base regularly complete satisfaction surveys to which Miz’s score is always high.

Our Apprenticeship partner, who provides such programmes to students across the UK, has remarked how fantastic Miz’s exam results have been, his scoring, being top of the class on most occasions.

Miz should be very proud of his achievements in just one year, and at Urban Network we are all excited about his next year with us, on our Analyst Trainee programme.”

Steve Kirby

COO

Inspired? Find out more about our work life and job vacancies here

National Apprenticeship Week 2015

National Apprenticeship Week 2015

It’s National Apprenticeship Week, time to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

At Urban Network, apprenticeships are an important part of our culture which focuses on people. We would like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to our wonderful apprentices Kelvin Rushbrook and Mirazul Ahmed for their hard work and excellent customer service.