Inside apprenticeships

Matt Wardle, Apprenticeships at PETA, Portsmouth

Annata are a global Microsoft partner with offices all over the world. They specialise in providing software solutions to enable companies to manage their business effectively. At the Portsmouth office, they identified a training need and got in touch with PETA to come up with a solution together.

PETA suggested the IT Practitioner Level 2 apprenticeship programme as the best route. They advertised the apprenticeship vacancy and carried out interviews with the best applicants. PETA then put forward the top candidates for Annata to interview. Once the successful candidate was selected, Annata and PETA worked together to provide the optimum training programme to ensure the apprentice emerged ready to embark on their career as Technical Consultant.

Apprentice: Matt Wardle

Apprenticeship: IT Practitioner, Level 2

Duration: 13 months

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I went to college straight from school, but just didn’t get on with it, so I left after a year and got a job. But it wasn’t what I wanted to do so I went back to college, got some qualifications and decided that I wanted to pursue a career in IT.

My college experience made me realise that I’m better with hands-on learning and I believed that an apprenticeship would give me the chance to put my learning into practice as I went along.

What were your favourite parts of the apprenticeship?

I loved the fact that I got to use the skills that I was learning in the actual role that I’d be doing when I finished. Practical experience is such an efficient way of learning as it cements the knowledge in your mind.

Our company director is on the trust board at the King’s Theatre, Southsea, and in the early days of my apprenticeship I was there a lot, acting as a kind of system administrator, managing their IT systems, which was really varied and interesting. It was a great learning curve!

How did you find the PETA experience?

PETA’s facilities are fantastic. I loved attending the training days at PETA’s training centre, it was great to meet other apprentices and mix with like-minded people.

The training days meant that we had a great induction to the programme, got guidance with coursework and it was also where the exams were sat so it was nice to have familiar surroundings for those. The sessions were very informative and interactive and really held my attention.

Andrew Worth, my trainer assessor, has been great. He’s got a relaxed and friendly teaching style and was helpful throughout. He made sure that everyone got involved in the group sessions and put everyone at ease.

I also enjoyed meeting with Andrew to set objectives for what I needed to achieve and demonstrate throughout the programme. He visited me in the workplace every six weeks to observe the skills I’d learned, and I worked my way through the modules to achieve the technical certificate at the end.

What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship?

Go for it! If you found college hard-going, keep in mind that an apprenticeship is completely different to that and way more interesting as you can choose something that really interests you.

You also go into it knowing that you will have a role at the end of it and what that role is. Be sure to research the different types of apprenticeships to ensure you choose the one that’s right for you.

Would you recommend PETA for apprenticeships?

Absolutely. In fact, I told my brother all about my experience with PETA and he went on to secure his own apprenticeship soon after!

Find out more about ICT apprenticeships.


Photo: Matt Wardle (left) with last year's apprentice Jay Long, who mentored Matt at Annata.

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