University, Apprenticeship and Employment

posted 20 Sep, 06:56 (32 days ago), permalink

Introduction

In this blog we will be discussing the pros and cons of University, Apprenticeship and Full Time Employment and which may be the best choice for you.

Firstly, this blog is assuming that you’re in sixth-form, at this stage in your education you have the important choice of what’s next. Your main options are whether you go to uni, find an apprenticeship or just dive into the deep end with a full-time job. But there are also other options like a gap year which you could spend working, travelling or maybe a bit of both.

Personally, I know people close to me that have gone to uni, started full-time work straight away and even done seasonal work abroad. I myself started an apprenticeship after sixth-form. So I know from a first or second-hand experience what each option is like.

What it ultimately comes down to is, and this should be no surprise, what you want to do when you’re older. If you want to become a doctor then you need to go to uni. If you want to work in a trade then an apprenticeship is your best bet. And if don’t really mind what you do as long as you’re making money, then full-time employment is for you. If you know what you want to do but don’t know how to get there, talk to your school's career advisor or head of the year. If that doesn’t help, you’ll be able to find what you need online.

But what if you don’t know what your ideal job is? Well, don’t worry. Most people don’t have a clue what they want to do at your age, and those that do may decide to change their career path in 10 years time. All I knew when I was in sixth-form was that I did not want to go to uni because I knew it just wasn’t for me. But besides that I had no clue if I should do an apprenticeship or get a job or even something else. So if you’re feeling like you’re the only one who hasn’t got the next 30 years figured out, trust me your not and there’s no need to worry about it because this blog is here to help!

Regardless of whether you do or don’t know what profession you want to take on when you’re older this blog should help you understand the pros and cons of each choice.

University

Summary –
You continue your education in just one subject so that you can earn a degree after 2-5 years. During this time you will have lectures, assignments and exams.

Pros –
Choice to stay at home or move out.
Meet new people and make new friends.
Gain some independence (even if you stay at home).
Wide range of options on what to study.
Uni suits almost everyone. There’s lots of opportunities for different clubs, sports and nightlife. Or if you really want you can spend your time in solidarity listening to music or playing games.
Some courses will give you great work experience.
You can expect between 18 to 24 weeks of holiday per year.
Gives you the ability to apply for specialist professions.
New experiences and broaden your mind.
Becoming an expert in a specific subject is surprisingly rewarding.
Opportunity to higher paid jobs.
Cons –
You’re probably expecting me to write in big bold letters ‘money’ or ‘debt’ but the truth is that until you start earning over £21,000 a year you don’t have to pay anything back. And when you do reach over £21,000 it’s a rate of 9% of how much you earn over £21,000. I.e if you’re earning £26,000 a year, you’ll pay £450 in loan repayments. Which is not as bad as some make it out to be but it is worth keeping it in mind.
Another money related con is the cost of going to uni itself. This really depends on where you go and the accommodation you choose but living away from home and attending uni is not cheap and the money you receive is often not enough on its own.
Money related, again! You may have to get a part time job to support yourself while going to uni.
Stress. If you know anyone going through uni you have probably heard them mention how stressful it is.
Unless you have a part time job or have to work as part of your degree you won’t have any work experience which is quite valuable to employers.
Compared to an apprenticeship you will have to spend much more of your time studying to get your qualification.
Once your degree starts you can feel a lot of pressure to stick to it even if you hate it.
You have to spend a lot of time doing your UCAS application, attending open days and looking into the local area.
If you leave home you’re leaving behind friends, family, pets and more.
Having a long summer 3-5 months leaves a lot of time to forget what you have learnt and not practicing skills.
If you’re applying for University then it can add a lot of pressure to how well you do in your A-level exams.
First Hand Experiences –
For this blog I asked two friends of mine to give their pros and cons of uni. Both are in their first year living away from home

First perspective is from someone in Liverpool, studying architecture, living in halls, catered –

Pros –

‘You meet a lot of new people.’

‘Learn to be independent.’

‘Leads to a job especially for me.’

Cons –

‘It costs a lot.’

‘It’s stressful.’

‘The food is terrible.’

‘I’m getting fat.’

 

Second perspective is from someone at Bradford, studying computer science, living in halls –

Pros –

‘Gives you a degree that opens the path to specialist jobs that require a degree.’

‘Lots of contact with companies who offer placements/postgraduate jobs in your field.’

‘A chance to meet lots of new people, learn to live independently and try new things.’

Cons –

‘Very expensive, will take a long time to pay off the debt.’

‘Very stressful, especially the first few weeks. Not knowing where anything is, with no friends and having to be fully independent for the first time.’

‘Only around 25 weeks of teaching per year leaves you with a long period of time where you’re probably not practicing skills. Forgetting skills and information over a 4 month summer.’

Apprenticeships –
Summary –
An apprenticeship involves working for an employer in a full time contract while also being taught about the work you do and the industry you’re in. Your apprenticeship will also involve a training provider that will give you learning assignments and occasional tests so you can receive your certificates and qualifications.

Pros –
Studies show that apprentices achieve higher earning jobs than university graduates on average.
Employers appreciate job experience as well as qualifications. (You’ll earn both)
Earn a wage.
Gain knowledge in a subject you’re passionate about.
Wide range of options and courses to choose. (400+ types of apprenticeships)
With an apprenticeship you’re likely to stay living at home so you will have a low cost of living.
Low stress. (staying at home, not having to support yourself,)
After one year you will be entitled to minimum wage for your age.
Apprenticeships typically only last between 12-18 month. (Qualified quicker than uni)
On a resume having both a qualification and relevant work experience is very impressive.
Having work experience gives you a good perspective on what this career path and industry is like.
You have nothing to owe for your apprenticeship.
Being paid while also not having to support yourself can lead to a nice amount of disposable income, like holidays or other treats.
An apprenticeship will probably be easier to get into than university and you won’t have to stress about your a-level grades as much.
You will only have to do work when you are actually at work.
Prepares you well for full time career.
After finishing your apprenticeship you will have a good chance to stay where you are allowing you to move straight into full time employment after your apprenticeship and you won’t have to worry about applying for somewhere new.
Because you are on a full time contract you are entitled to a range of benefits. I.e paid holiday, statutory sick pay, etc.
If you decide after a few months that your current apprenticeship isn’t for you, you can easily leave without accumulating any debt and it won’t have been a total waste of time since you were actually earning money and gaining work experience.
Cons –
Missing out on the ‘University experience’.
Like university, choosing an apprenticeship can set you up for a limited and specific career path.
Only 28 days of holiday (usually) per year.
Starting salary can be very low. (minimum of £3.90)
May have further to commute.
Typically an apprenticeship is between 30-45 hours a week of work.
Less interaction with peers than University.
Little opportunity to make new friends and meet lots of new people.
Not enough money earned to move out and support yourself initially.
First Hand Experience –
For this part I will be recounting my own experience as an apprentice, giving my own pros and cons. I started my apprenticeship in August 2018 as a Digital Marketer. I was unfortunately made redundant from that specific job in February 2019 but was transferred by my apprenticeship training provider. Allowing me to continue with my apprenticeship course.

Pros –

I only have to work between the hours of 9-5 Monday-Friday. Which may be more hours than someone at Uni, but the relief of being able to go home every night with absolutely no cares or worries is pretty good.

Earning money is great, especially when I don’t have to spend much of it to support myself.

Regardless of what A-level results I got I was already offered my apprenticeship, which definitely took some pressure off.

I thoroughly enjoy what I do.

Cons –

I could be earning more if I chose a full time job after sixth-form.

My social life has dramatically decreased with friends going away to uni and there’s not really being a massive opportunity to meet new people.

I only have 28 days of holiday per year which is a dramatic change from school, especially after such a long study leave/summer holiday.

Full Time Employment –
Summary –
Rather than continuing any education at all you move straight into a full time job that doesn’t require university or apprenticeship qualifications. This option is probably the one you may have considered the least since it’s not promoted at school very much.

Since there is such a wide range of jobs available to people that have left sixth-form I’m not going to form this section as a pros and cons list. Instead I’ll give a short overview and what my friends personal experience has been like.

By choosing full time employment you’re going to definitely experience some benefits like earning way more than anyone in an apprenticeship or someone at Uni. With that money you can move out if you want or if you prefer you could stay at home. Being on a full time contract entitles you to a range of benefits. (Paid holiday, paid sick leave etc.)

However there are also some definite downsides like missing out on University experience, you don’t have many days of holidays and your social life will probably decrease due to friends going to uni. By not going to uni or doing an apprenticeship you wont be able to apply for certain jobs or industries.

Then there are some factors that really depend on what job you’re looking for. For instance someone may be going to Uni to follow their dream job but your dream job may need no qualifications at all. I.e working in a kitchen. Your ability to move up in your career path also depends on what industry you’re aiming for. You may have to take on lots of responsibilities, in and out of work hours.

Overall full time employment is definitely a viable option if you can find something that excites you or motivates you. Or if you have no clue what you want to do in life, whether its Uni or an apprenticeship, having a full time job is a good way to bide your time while you figure things out.

First hand experience –
For this part I asked a friend to give me his thoughts and opinions on full time work right after he finished sixth-form. He worked part time at a local Wetherspoons while he was at sixth-form and then went full time once sixth-form was finished. His position is in the kitchen and he still lives at home.

Pros –

Earns a nice amount.

Real world job experience.

Gets a taste of more responsibilities in and out of home.

Work with people of different ages. (Typically older)

Cons –

Doesn’t pay as well long term than a degree required job.

Limited career progression.

18 feels quite early to be in full time work.

 


Summary –
In summary, each option has its own unique pros and cons that will suit people differently. Hopefully this blog has clearly explained these points so you can make a more informed decision about your future. And if you have made it this far thanks for reading and good luck with your future!

Interviewing Tips

posted 20 Sep, 06:53 (32 days ago), permalink

Have a read of this comprehensive list of the best tips and advice for preparing and during an interview.

Before Interview –
Quiz yourself with practice questions.
Thoroughly research the job role and company.
This should ideally be done a few days before your interview or when you send your application but go through your social media removing anything obscene.
Match your tone and use of language to the company. (Based on research)
Plan to be early.
Familiarise yourself with your application, cover letter and the job description before the interview.
Be prepared to discuss how you are suitable to the specific requirements on the job application post.
Prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview such as: ‘Can you explain some of the day to day responsibilities?’ ‘How would you best describe the office environment on a typical day?’ ‘What are you hoping the company will achieve this year or within a year?’ ‘Does the team ever enjoy social occasions out of the office?’ ‘Is there anything that you would like me to expand on from before?’ ‘Is there anything on my resume or cover letter that you would like me to explain further?’ Try not to sound rehearsed if and when you ask them.
Fresh breath.
Bring a pen and small notepad.
Dress appropriately. Just because the employees at the company are dressed casually doesn’t mean you can turn up in casual attire.
Usually at the start of an interview the interviewer will say ‘Tell me about yourself’. This is a golden opportunity to really sell yourself, on your terms. Feel free to dip into your family or hobbies a little here but focus mostly on points that will make you a desirable candidate.
Amongst how you should dress, your personal hygiene is also very important. Arrive at the interview clean, well groomed and odourless. Which means having a shower before the interview but also not dousing yourself with cologne or perfume.
Don’t take a drink into the interview with you (unless it’s one they offered you beforehand)
Turn your phone onto silent before you enter the room instead of powering it off completely. (You may quickly need it to add contacts or something)
Be prepared to fill in a job application when you arrive, so studying up on what was on your resume and the dates of your previous employment may be helpful.

During Interview –
Take your time to genuinely think about each question. Any interviewer would appreciate a well thought out answer over a rapid response.
Be socially polite and natural when you meet.
Match your tone and use of language to the company. (Based on impression)
Be yourself. The employer is just as keen to meet someone pleasant to work with as someone who will be valuable to the team/company.
Retain your interview composure from when you walk into the building and greet the receptionist staff and until you leave.
If you slip up on a question don’t let it phase you.
It’s always better to be honest if you’re unsure of a question than to try and wing it. Ask them to rephrase their question first.
Remain professional when speaking about your employment history and colleagues.
Keep your answers focused and to the point.
Good body language – sitting straight, eye contact, handshake etc.
Make sure you are actively listening to what is being said.
Usually at the start of an interview the interviewer will say ‘Tell me about yourself’. This is a golden opportunity to really sell yourself on your terms. Feel free to dip into your family or hobbies a little here but focus mostly on points that will make you a desirable candidate.
Try to develop a connection with the interviewers. Perhaps something you have in common, which will make the interview more relaxed.
If you have a drink with you in the interview only have a sip when it’s your turn to talk. Drinking while the interviewer is talking is not only rude but could distract you from what they’re saying.

 

 

After Interview –
Sending a thank you message. One survey of 300 HR managers found that 80% of them found thank you messages either helpful or very helpful yet only 24% of applicants actually send one. This is therefore a great way to get an edge over other applicants. Typically email is the best way to send your thank you note. It should include how pleased you were to meet the interviewer/s and that you are thankful for their time and you look forward to hearing from them. It’s important you don’t make yourself look too desperate so don’t make it an essay long. Just something short and snappy.
If all else fails and you finish your interview thinking it went poorly then you can send an email explaining that you think you poorly communicated how excellent you are for the job. Reiterate what it is that makes you perfect for the job and thank them for their time.

Final Note –
Thanks for reading these top interview tips and good luck with any interviews you have.

Share this:

How to make a great Cover Letter

posted 20 Sep, 06:52 (32 days ago), permalink

Introduction –
When applying for a new job you will need to send 2 things. Your resume/CV and your cover letter. In this blog we will break down the layout of an ideal cover letter, show a model example and give some great top tips.

 

Layout –
The layout of your cover letter should start with the person you are addressing. Such as Dear [name].

Then for your first paragraph you should write about why you are applying for this job, why you are interested in this field of work and how you can help the company with your skills. Make sure that you sound excited and eager to work with this company, without going overboard.

After your first paragraph you’re next two or three paragraphs should be focused around your relevant previous employment, skills you have obtained and experiences you have gone through while relating back to how this is helpful in making you the best candidate for the job.

Finally is your closing paragraph. Usually closing paragraphs in cover letters are very generic as most will simply thank the reader/employer for their time and that they look forward to hearing from them. However if you personalize this closing paragraph in the same way that you have done for the rest of your cover letter it can really make you stand out. One way to do this can be to address a potential concern the employer may have. For instance if you are applying for this new job because you are moving city you can mention this here. Or you can end on a strong note by reinforcing that your skills, knowledge and experience have made you perfect for the job.

End the letter with Kind regards [your name]

 

Example Cover Letter –
Dear [Name],

I am interested in the author’s assistant position at Acme Company, as advertised on LinkedIn. I am currently employed as legislative director for Assemblywoman Nora Kiel, Chairperson of the NYS Assembly. I believe that the skills and experiences I have gained at this position make me an ideal candidate for the job of author’s assistant.

As legislative director, I have developed strong writing and editing skills. For example, one of my main duties is to prepare Assemblywoman Nora Kiel’s personal legislation, which deals with issues related to her position as Senior Member of the NYS Assembly Standing Committee.

This duty requires meticulous writing and editing skills, and an ability to convey complex legal ideas clearly. I have prepared dozens of pieces of legislation and received praise for the clarity of my writing.

I have also gained extensive experience in legal and policy research – fields that you state the author’s assistant must be familiar with. My experience in the NYS Assembly has afforded me the opportunity to become familiar with the consolidated and unconsolidated laws of the State of New York. In particular, through my work with Assemblywoman Nora Kiel I have become heavily involved in the current welfare and Medicaid reform movement. I am always eager to learn more about state legislation, reading up on these topics on my own time to become more knowledgeable. I would love to bring this passion for policy and law to your company.

I am confident that my experience in the Legislature and my research and writing skills qualify me for consideration. If you would like, I can provide you with current samples of my work. I have also enclosed my resume. I look forward to meeting with you and discussing my qualifications in more detail.

Kind Regards

[Your Name]

Top Tips –
When writing about your previous employment history, the skills you have learnt and your experiences, make sure you can relate them to the job and explain how it will help.
For every cover letter you make start it fresh so that it is fully suited to the job you are applying for.
Try not to regurgitate what is already on your resume.
Never draw attention to your weaknesses with phrases like ‘Despite my limited experience in…’.
Consider visiting the company’s website and social media pages so that you can get a good understanding about them. Enabling you to match the tone of the letter to the company’s tone.
Try to keep your letter under one page.
If you don’t know who your cover letter is going to research who the hiring manager is and address it to them. This will really make you stand out. If you can’t find a name then use ‘dear hiring manager’.
Send your letter as a pdf to make it easy for the employer to view.

Final Note –
Thank you for reading. Hopefully this has given you some helpful advice on how to make your best Cover Letter and subsequently gets you an interview or job.

How to create a successful CV or Application

posted 20 Sep, 06:51 (32 days ago), permalink

In this blog we will be covering how to structure an ideal CV or application and what the best tips are to make it outstanding.

Layout –
First section of your CV should be your personal details. This includes:

Name
Address
Phone number
Email
You can also add a link to your LinkedIn account if appropriate.

After your personal details should come your personal statement. This is a short and sweet paragraph, which tells the employer who you are, what value you can have for this company and what your career goals are. Within this you should also include why it is you want this job and why you are interested in this field. Keep the length under 100 words.

Next you should list your qualifications and employment history/experience. This should be done in reverse chronological order, so that the employer sees your most recent experience first. For each job role you list include your job title, the employer, your start and end date and a description of what you did there/your responsibilities, and the achievements or skills it gave you.

Then include your education and qualifications you received. This should be laid out in reverse chronological order with each school/college/university you went to, with the years you attended, as headers and the grades you achieved underneath.

Now that you have outlined your employment history and qualifications move onto writing your hobbies, interests and achievements. For this section it is important that you actually sound human without completely underselling yourself at the same time. So try to get a good mixture of what hobbies, interests or achievements you’re proud to talk about, like your years of work at the youth community centre, while also adding something more down to earth and relatable, like playing sports.

Lastly you can include your references. This isn’t an essential part of your CV so if you would rather you can put ‘references available on request’. However if you do wish to include references, pick a mixture of references from previous employment, friends or family and education if your education wasn’t too long ago.

Finish your CV off with Kind regards [your name].

 

Top Tips –
The length of a CV should not exceed 2 pages. This way the information should remain relevant and to the point. If your CV fits only onto one page that’s fine.

Pick a professional font such as Ariel or Georgia or Times New Roman.

Use active verbs in your writing, such as ‘created’ or ‘devised’ as words like these show you have initiative.

Try to avoid overused words like ‘hardworking’ and instead provide real life examples to show your skills.

Examine the company and the role you are applying for so you can make your CV as relevant as possible. Keeping this in mind you should obviously change your CV slightly every time you send it out.

This may seem obvious but it is important you don’t lie on your CV, not only can this cost you a job but lying about, for instance, your degree grade can actually result in a prison sentence.

Make each paragraph distinct with plenty of space between them and section headers.

Having keywords specific to the job role can help make your CV stand out.

Skills employers love to see – Communication, Teamwork, Initiative, Problem solving, Flexibility, Computer skills, Technical skills.

Send your CV as a pdf so that it’s easy for the employer to read.

Final Note –
Thank you for reading. Hopefully this has given you some helpful advice on how to make your best CV and subsequently gets you an interview or job.

Stedfast Quality Assurance

posted 20 Sep, 06:50 (32 days ago), permalink

As part of our ongoing work with application development, we have been working on the Stedfast system which is a quality assurance tool for education and training providers. We started this project in 2015 with the initial system being hosted on a learning system that we had developed. However, we quickly realised that the system could be used by other providers and so have been developing it for general release.

What is Stedfast?
Stedfast is a quality assurance system that primarily focuses on outcomes assessment. It was developed to take standards and frameworks and to convert these into outcomes. Staff work collaboratively on assessment plans. The underpinning rationale of an assessment plan is to create outcomes cycles and add findings against each of the outcomes measures. Staff are able to action plan their findings.

Why use Stedfast?
Stedfast is an incredibly powerful system that supports the development of self-assessment reports and quality improvement plans. It can also be used to conduct programme reviews and other compliance reviews.

What is next?
There are new features in development including the policies and procedures module. This is due for release at the end of November 2018. There is also a plan to release the risk assessment module before the end of 2018. Both of these modules greatly enhance the quality assurance features the Stedfast provides.

More information

If you would like more information then please go to the Stedfast FAQ This will provide further information about the system and costs.

Netwrok Cable Installer Apprenticeship

posted 20 Sep, 06:49 (32 days ago), permalink

We thought it would be useful to provide a short update on the Network Cable Installer Apprenticeship. The government’s changes to apprenticeships are making great strides in the move from apprenticeship frameworks to apprenticeship standards. We have continued to deliver the data cable engineer apprenticeship to structured network businesses but we are making provision for the impending move to the new network cable installer apprenticeship. It is not fully live yet but we expect it made available shortly.

Network Cable Installer Apprenticeship Standard
The network cable installer standard (but not the assessment plan) has now been published on the Institute for Apprenticeships website. This has provided us with an overview of the skills, knowledge and behaviour standards expected of a network cable installer. The core modules that engineers will complete are:

Copper Installation
Fibre Installation
Testing networks
Health & Safety
PASMA & IPAF
Street Works
The key change for apprentices is that there will be a formal endpoint assessment. At the moment, an apprenticeship is completed once all the elements of the framework have been achieved. However, the new apprenticeship standard is different as apprentices need to go through the formal endpoint assessment which is conducted by an independent body. Once this endpoint assessment has been published, we will be able to deliver this new apprenticeship.

What does it mean for the structured network industry?
This new apprenticeship standard has been designed by structured network businesses who have identified the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by network cable installers. On completion, the apprentice will also be eligible to apply for registration as a full member for the Institute of Telecommunications Professionals

Who will be able to do this apprenticeship?
This is straightforward – anyone. Existing engineers will be able to complete this apprenticeship and further develop their skills and knowledge of network cable installation. For structured network businesses looking to hire new engineers, it is a great way to train and develop new staff. We have noticed this year that more and more structured network businesses are requested school/ college/university leavers are there is a general shortage of trained engineers.

Engineer Progression Opportunities
We have recently released our Level 4 Network Engineer programme which is designed for engineers who want to take the next step in their careers. It has been written for engineers who would like to become more involved in the design, planning and management of installations. On this programme engineers will complete the following core modules:

CCNA
City and Guilds 3667-03 Design and Planning
CompTIA Server +
CompTIA Security +
PRINCE 2 (Foundation)
Need more information?
If you are interested in any of our structured network programmes then please contact us and we discuss your requirements.

End of Exams

posted 20 Sep, 06:47 (32 days ago), permalink

Now that we have come to the end of the exam season, it is time to start thinking about what you want to do next!

Firstly, it is important that you have a break and relax if you are unsure of what you want to do next – spend the next two weeks researching. Don’t rush yourself into the first thing that you find! Seek out for advice – we offer great advice, even if an apprenticeship isn’t your first option, we are still more than happy to have a chat with you.

When you do find an apprenticeship vacancy that interests you, don’t hesitate to apply for it! Some recruitment processes can take a few weeks, so it is best to apply for a vacancy when you find it. (Take a look at our blog on how to create a great application)

New Apprenticeship vacancies are added to the Government website and other job boards, every day. Always keep an eye out for new opportunities.

If you would like to speak to one of our team about Apprenticeships, give us a call on 01423 740006 or email: christy.slater@vqsolutions.co.uk

Apprenticeship Application – The hints and tips!

posted 20 Sep, 06:46 (32 days ago), permalink

The Government Apprenticeship website is a great way to apply for apprenticeships – in order to apply though, you must make an applicant account. Take a look at our hints and tips below on how to make your application the best it can be!

Contact details! It is crucial that you put your CORRECT and UP TO DATE contact details on your application form, this is how training providers will contact you.
Fill in all the boxes that are available – make the most out of it!
Only input content that is relevant and positive.
Make sure you input the correct grades for the relevant qualification. If you are waiting for results, make sure you state your predicted results. (Leaving the qualifications section empty makes it look like you haven’t sat any exams)
Always answer the optional questions at the end – these questions are personalized to the job role you are applying for and are usually decided by the employer. By taking the time to answer these questions shows that you are interested in the position.
Weaknesses – any question or reference to weaknesses should be answered positively, try to think of a weakness that you have overcome or list a weakness that could be perceived as a strength to an employer e.g. being a perfectionist. (Do not lie, if you can’t think of one the best policy is, to be honest, and truthful)
In the first instance after applying for vacancies, best practice would be to make sure you check your phone, answer any calls you receive from an unknown number maturely, you will receive calls if you have been applying to vacancies! Check your emails, each training provider will use a different method on how they wish to contact you. Remember to check emails regularly and reply to them as soon as you see them.

If you are applying for one of our vacancies and would like some more advice, please contact us on 01423 740006.

Apprenticeship Wages

posted 20 Sep, 06:45 (32 days ago), permalink

In April 2018, we saw an increase in the National Minimum Wages and the National Living Wage. The National Minimum Apprenticeship Wage also increased in April from £3.50 per hour to £3.70.

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to Apprenticeship wages; an Apprentice can only be paid the National Minimum Apprenticeship Wage for the first 12 months of their apprenticeship (365 days from their sign up date) unless they are below the age of 18, after this, the Apprentice must be paid at least the minimum wage for their age group:

Under 18: £4.20 per hour

18 – 20: £5.90 per hour

21 – 24: £7.38 per hour

National Living Wage (25+): £7.83 per hour

Fortunately, many employers pay above the National Minimum Apprenticeship Wage as it opens up a wider audience of applicants.

If you have any questions regarding the Apprenticeship Wage or wages in general, give us a call!

Data Cable Engineer Design and Planning Programme

posted 20 Sep, 06:44 (32 days ago), permalink

Our Data Engineer Level 4 programme is designed for structured network engineering businesses who want to develop engineers in the design, planning and management of networks. The programme has been designed to provide a range of skills and knowledge for engineers who want to advance their careers and become more involved in project design and management,

Network Design and Management
This is a unique programme designed specifically for the structured network industry. We often get asked by data cable engineers who have completed the Network Cable Installer programme what they can do next. We also get asked about CCNA courses for engineers as well as project management.

Well, we developed the Data Engineer Programme last year and have had a fantastic response from our clients. Engineers develop a wide range of skills and knowledge and complete the following modules:

Health and Safety in Telecoms
Personal and Professional Development
CCNA (Parts 1 & 2)
Fibre and Copper Network Design and Planning (Internal)
PRINCE 2 (Foundation)
Network Security
Understanding Servers
Testing Networks
The programme typically lasts 18 months and is fully completed when the engineer completes the Network Engineer endpoint assessment. The modules are spaced out to reflect that engineers have work commitments but it is a rolling programme that can be accessed at any time.

We offer a wide range of support and access to online learning and classroom-based courses. For instance, CCNA is delivered using eLearning and a 5-day CCNA Bootcamp.

What do you need to do to access this programme?
The first thing to do is to contact us and we can talk you through the course in more detail. You need to have at least 3 years experience of working in data cable installations and ideally have completed our Level 3 Data Engineer programme or equivalent – but experience matters so this is not mandatory.

Your employer needs to agree to you doing this programme as it will involve some block release courses and time to study online. There is also a small cost for the employer so this needs to be agreed beforehand.

[1] 2 3