Our Learner of the Month for June is Jack Prendergast, a Communications Analyst from YBS who recently attained a distinction in his Level 4 Network Engineer Apprenticeship after two years of hard work with Estio!
The Yorkshire Building Society is the third largest building society in the UK, with its headquarters in Bradford, West Yorkshire. It is a member of the Building Societies Association.
Jack was nominated for the award by his Skills Development Coach, Aimee Bell, who said “Jack has been a great apprentice to work with since taking over as his skills coach last year. He has been very keen to get his work submissions in on time for me and always took on my feedback and produced some really amazing work. Happy to have had him as my first learner through EPA at Estio and achieved a very well earned Distinction.”
Jack is also our first apprentice to pass his EPA since the new apprenticeship standards were released and we’re thrilled to announce that he attained a distinction!
Seeing such a glowing reference made us want to chat with Jack a little more about his journey in his apprenticeship and what his thoughts were on the process as a whole.
“My role is focused around network engineering, but mainly on the security side. Day-to-day I handle what we call ‘tickets’ and this is just tasks that come to us as a team; this could be something simple such as helping someone who can’t connect to the Wi-Fi to something such as someone wanting a new firewall rule adding in. I’m also expected to keep up with admin work that comes with the job, things like looking through logs and dealing with changed tasks that you’ll do out of hours. Just really staying vigilant and keeping on top of things.”
“Prior to starting my apprenticeship I achieved A-Levels in English Language, Media, and Business Studies. I actually chose IT because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do from a young age but it can be hard to get a technical role in IT without previous experience.”
“In the future I see myself continuing to progress in the role I’m in and getting more senior at what I’m doing. The colleagues that I’m working alongside have been doing this for ten to fifteen years, so they’re great to learn from.”
“What I like best about my apprenticeship is the company I work with. My manager at YBS allowed me to have unrestricted access to try things out which gave me more confidence in myself in what I’m doing.”
“My favourite module from my training was probably the one that focused on Cyber Security because that’s what I’m currently doing at work, I’m relating it back to my job and it’s really useful.”
“In terms of my most challenging module I’d go with the Network Systems focused module. There’s so much to learn within the two weeks that your studying doesn’t just stay within the training centres, you really should keep learning more outside of work too.”
“I would say I felt supported throughout my apprenticeship. My manager has been great throughout and my Skills Development Coach, Aimee, has been great too. Work was marked by Aimee and returned within a day or two, which made the apprenticeship process smooth and allowed me to progress with my apprenticeship work quickly and efficiently.”
“I chose an apprenticeship because IT was always something I’ve wanted to do. An apprenticeship allowed me to head straight into a technical role alongside a great company without the debt that I would have received from university.”
Jack’s manager, Martin Webster, also commented on the positive impact Jack has had within his team “Jack is a pleasure to work with. He is attentive, he has valid input into team discussions & decision making sessions, he is hard working & he is determined to get the right outcomes. I’ve spent time away from work attending conferences with Jack & his attitude at these events has been the same as in work; he projects a professionalism that is beyond his years. He is more than able to hold professional discussions with suppliers & vendors adding value with relevant knowledge of the YBS infrastructure & technologies. He represents the team in a very good light with his proactive manner & hardworking ethic.”
Alongside his manager, Stephen White, Chief Operating Officer at YBSso had some comments to make about Jack and his achievements: “Jack was the first Apprentice on our new YBS Group Apprenticeship scheme to pass and we are extremely proud of his achievements, not only gaining a Distinction but being awarded ‘Apprentice of the Month’. This is testament to the hard work and commitment he has put in to his job here as Communications Analyst, but also his studies with Estio.
“The YBS Group Apprenticeship Scheme is a critical route for us to bring future talent into the organisation who are gaining the skills and knowledge we need to drive our business forward in the future. Our apprentices have the opportunity to ‘reverse mentor’ a member of the Executive Committee and I have found these regular discussions with Jack and his colleagues invaluable and insightful to help me see things from their perspective.
Our Apprenticeship scheme is now in its third year and I am looking forward to welcoming a new cohort of talented apprentices in the autumn.”
We’d like to congratulate Jack for all of his hard work at YBS, and we hope he continues to succeed in his IT career!
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