Aylesbury UTC’s First IT Apprentice Receives Distinction Grade Completing Apprenticeship

Aylesbury UTC’s first IT apprentice and ex-student has now completed his apprenticeship after 18 months.

Ben Ward studied on our Computing specialism (now known as Digital) for 4 years, after joining Year 10 in 2018. He had interests in various aspects of IT and made this clear to us during the Next Steps meeting with the Careers Lead and Principal. All students are invited to attend these to discuss their future career plans and receive support in choosing what is right for them.

Merchant Taylors’ Oxfordshire Academy Trust, alongside the training provider, Yeovil College, were delighted to set up the Level 3 Information Communications Technician apprenticeship for Ben. He started this position in August 2022, following an extended work experience at the UTC.

Principal congratulates an Able and qualified Student Ben Ward

During this time, Ben completed one day per week learning remotely. He was based at the UTC as the sole technician, communicating remotely and in-person with IT colleagues based at Wallingford School. This work included an overhaul to our CCTV, access control, curriculum software, hardware deployment, revamped IT suite layouts, procurement projects and more general support projects.

The apprenticeship consists of 20% off-job learning per week. It concludes with an end-point assessment, consisting of a work-based project, project questions and a 1 hour professional discussion.

Ben says:

“I have really enjoyed my time working at the UTC and intend to continue, fully qualified. The favourite part of my day-to-day is supporting, laughing and getting to know our students. This helps me tailor my support to them and learn how we can improve our systems. The supportive colleagues I work with at the UTC and Wallingford School have helped greatly”

“A huge thanks to Nick Lamb, John Marston and Petra Rushton for working hard to develop the apprenticeship in a short timeframe. It has also been fantastic working with Joe Dunckley (Principal) since September, exploring new ideas to move the UTC’s Digital and IT elements forward”

The determination to ensure young people reach purposeful destinations is a key feature of Aylesbury UTC. The role provides a broad understanding and real-world experience in tackling IT problems and providing support for many people and multiple schools. We look forward to providing a similar opportunity for current UTC students to progress on to in future.