Apprentice Case Study: Colin Astley
Background: Colin completed his A-Levels and rather than go to University chose to start a career in IT. Having worked in the private sector for over 14 years, Colin moved into the public sector and joined Wilmslow High School in 2005 as the Information Services Support Manager. In 2017 Colin enrolled on a degree apprenticeship in Digital & Technology Solution Level 6.
Why choose an apprenticeship?
Colin is passionate about working for Wilmslow High School and when the opportunity to undertake a work-based apprenticeship presented itself, was keen to enrol. Although having worked extensively in IT over several years, the fact that Colin was self-taught has at times proved to hinder progression. The pathway options that this degree course offered ensures it is aligned perfectly with the role Colin undertakes within the School. The apprenticeship route means that any degree assignments are related to real world job specific scenarios, this not only makes them more tangible to Colin but valuable to the School.
Wilmslow High School has already seen benefit from Colin undertaking this apprenticeship course. Formalised project management skills taught by the degree have already been utilised within the School. This really is win-win for both Colin and the School.
“At first the thought of becoming a student as part of an apprenticeship at a later point in my life was daunting. I have worked in IT for many years at various levels and have learnt a lot, I therefore had to be clear as to what benefit this degree would add for both my employer and me. The choice of pathways ensured that the course fits perfectly with my role within the school. There are also a number of core soft-skills that I have to demonstrate as part of the course and this has really made me reflect upon my working practises to date and realise that more effective approaches may have been available to me. It is said that you are never too old to learn, I not only now understand this but fully endorse it. The value that I can add to the school is increasing day by day. I find myself challenging situations and striving to improve rather than simply maintain the status quo. The apprenticeship route maintains a strong triangle between Wilmslow High School, the University and me with all parties working with each other’s best interests in mind.”