2 May 2017
Three and a half years ago we committed £4.5 million to training and education with the launch of a new apprenticeship scheme at UKFast.
It was a huge investment and a massive gamble. We’ve always had a focus on training and development but with two former superstar teachers joining the team, Aaron and Arlene, I knew we needed to take it to the next level.
Since then, we’ve had a 100% employment rate from our apprenticeships and last year, we hired 50 apprentices. It was a huge task but one that we had to do; Bright Futures had collapsed and so many young people had been left completely in the lurch, half-way through their qualifications.
Many people questioned the move to take on so many young people and to invest so much into training and development. Today was proof that we were right to do so.
Kickstarting the week this morning, a team of apprentices took to the stage in our whole company ‘Town Hall’ meeting, wearing caps and gowns, to graduate from their apprenticeships, having completed and passed all of their training. Arlene arranged the ceremony because these young people put in just as much hard work as university students but don’t get the proud moment of graduation.
I am invariably rolled out by the media every summer as someone who shows that university isn’t the only option for young people. These boys are a prime example that there are alternative routes into a career in tech.
Our apprentices have gone on to do some extraordinary things. Tim, who was one of our first young trainees, now chairs the Young Apprentice Ambassadors Network and runs a team here at UKFast. We don’t only provide technical apprenticeships; we’ve courses from customer service to sales, to a multitude of technical disciplines.
I couldn’t have been prouder of the young men on the stage in front of the rest of the business today and I am so excited to see where their journeys take them.
Well done guys. Thank you for your hard work and commitment. I’m proud that you’re part of Team UKFast.