"There's been a lot to learn, but I have enjoyed every minute."
That's the view of 27-year-old Richard Bonner from Stockton-on-Tees, who's coming to the end of his Ingeus apprenticeship at industrial suppliers and overhead crane specialists
RS Industrial Services, based in nearby Billingham. With a recognised qualification under his belt, he will be even better equipped to continue his job in the marketing and data support department of the Teesside industrial giant.
Richard is aiming to add a Level 2 IT NVQ to his CV, which will be the reward at the end of his year-long course. "I had amassed quite a lot of experience in my previous job as a data administrator for a business broker, and I have added to it working here at RS Industrial Services, but what I lacked was a formal qualification. When I complete this apprenticeship I will have my Level 2 NVQ, which is formal statement of what I have achieved."
Richard recognises and appreciates the encouragement he has received from his employer, and the support given by Ingeus. His training advisor has guided him through the mix of studying and applying what he has learnt.
"I have dedicated a lot of my own time to making this happen, but have done so willingly because I can see the result will be worth it," said Richard.
Alongside Richard sits 21-year-old Daniel Brodrick-Evans, who is adding to the skills he developed as an electrical apprentice five years ago with a similar Level 2 IT NVQ. Five months into the same year-long course, he recognises he has a better understanding of the software packages he uses in his job, and he's taken the opportunity to develop his key English and mathematics skills at the same time.
"I can see how Richard has benefitted from his apprenticeship and so willingly signed myself up in the hope of improving my own skills and knowledge," he said. "I have learned a lot already, but I do recognise there is a long way to go. However, I am willing to make the commitment because I can see there are great advantages to be had, now and in the future."
Supervisor Darren Smith added, "We're committed to giving time to our employees to help with their development because the results are always worthwhile. It's always a challenge to find the right people for our jobs, and having formal qualifications is a demonstration not only of knowledge but of willingness to learn. It's what makes these two stand out and so it's a pleasure to work alongside them and Ingeus."
For more information about apprenticeships and how they might work for you, please go to http://www.ingeus.co.uk/training