IT firm boss and apprentice extol apprenticeship virtues

The founder of a Reading IT company is encouraging other businesses in the area to get involved in an apprenticeship scheme after realising the benefits of taking on his own apprentice.

Simon Schnieders, founder of Blue Array – a firm that helps other companies to improve their online presence and boost search engine optimisation – decided to recruit an apprentice because he needed to grow his workforce.

He contacted the National Apprenticeship Scheme and through provider 3AAA, he was matched with 19-year-old apprentice Tom Pool, who now works for his company at the GROW community hub in Whitley.


Meeting business goals

Schnieders said: “Employers need to brush aside any preconceptions they have about apprenticeships and take the time to invest. We owe it to give a helping hand to the younger generation.

“In return, you’ll typically receive a highly trained, specialised and loyal employee who’s closely aligned with your business needs and goals.

“The flexibility they have around training and willingness to learn has been unparalleled in my experience.

“The rawness of an apprentice can be a real asset, particularly their ability to absorb information with little or no preconceptions or expectations.”


‘Hungry’ to learn more

Tom came into the business after finishing a Level 3 diploma in engineering, and was reluctant to take on the debt that often comes as part of a traditional university degree.

He said: “I wasn’t sure university life was for me and was also not sure about taking out a student loan, as I really didn’t want to be in debt.

“The variety of different things I do every day keeps it exciting and leaves me hungry to learn more. I am actually looking forward to coming into work each day, to see what different methods I will be learning.

“And because you are learning new things every day, there is a definite feeling of progression, as you learn more and more about the industry.”