National Apprenticeship Week (8-14 February 2021) celebrates ‘the diversity of opportunity and value that apprenticeships bring, and how they can help individuals and employers build their future.’
The theme for 2021 is to Build the Future, which covers three key principles – train, retain and achieve. This involves training to future proof the workforce through apprenticeships; growing skills that are needed by organisations allowing them to grow and retain talent; and recognising that apprenticeships can help a business achieve their future goals.
In the first of a new series of Meet the Team interviews, you’ll be able to learn more about the faces behind the business at Vinters. This week, Luke Germano shares how he joined the team as an apprentice in 2015 and has progressed into his current role as Service Desk Supervisor, as well as outlining why he believes apprenticeships are a valuable career path.
How did your apprenticeship come about?
Our Technical Director, Matt Parkinson was offering an apprenticeship in 2015. My Mum, who has cut the Parkinson family’s hair for a number of years, spoke to Matt about the opportunity. At the time, I was working in the kitchen at a local Harvester, but I couldn’t see myself working there long-term and had ambitions of working within the IT industry.
IT was always a subject I enjoyed, even at primary school. I used to help out my family with anything technology or IT related from a young age and it always interested me. As I got older, I also recognised the career opportunities and progression which the IT industry offered.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering an apprenticeship and why do you think apprenticeships are important?
I would strongly recommend an apprenticeship as it’s a great way to train on the job and while also getting paid along the way. It’s a great starting point for you to get started into the career of your choice and all you really need to get the ball rolling is a strong interest in the industry, and a good work ethic.
I also believe they are important as they give the opportunity to people who may not excelled academically in school, as well as people who want a complete career change. Apprenticeships provide that starting platform for anyone to kickstart a career in any field.
How has your role at Vinters changed?
For the first 18 months, I started as an apprentice on our service desk. After completing my apprenticeship and gathering experience and skills on the job, I was offered a full-time role as a first line engineer in which I took on more responsibility. This then developed into a Service Desk Supervisor position in January 2019.
My hard work and dedication have paid off as Matt saw that I had good people skills and worked well at training other members of the team. I’ve been learning a lot of managerial and supervisory skills along the way which has just made me more useful in my role as we continue to grow the business.
What challenges have you had to overcome where your apprenticeship training has come in useful?
The apprenticeship training really improved my base knowledge and understanding of the IT industry as a whole. There were many aspects that weren’t covered in school so after the first year it was great to support clients across more areas. Specifically, there was a module in my apprenticeship that involved setting up Wi-Fi printers, after completing this module I was able to setup a Wi-Fi printer for a client in the Maidstone Studios, as well as at home.
What does your role as Service Supervisor involve?
The main part of my role is taking responsibility of the team’s performance and customer interaction on a day-to-day basis. I’m tasked with setting daily, weekly and monthly objectives for the team and ensuring that we deliver the best customer service possible to our clients.
In addition to being appointed in the supervisor role, I was also promoted to a second line support engineer, which means I also have to deal with escalations from our first line team daily. I’m also responsible for ensuring our team gets the best training possible when they can so they can all work on their personal development and grow in their roles. My main objective each day is getting the best out of my team.
We hope you have enjoyed the first interview in our Meet the Team series. Stay tuned as we’ll be speaking to more members of the Vinters team over the coming weeks, including Cameron, who has also progressed in his career on the apprenticeship pathway.
You can find out more about us as a business, our key values and our story so far here.
By Charlie Harris on February 9th, 2021