As well as providing advice and guidance on apprenticeships to its clients, Inspira works with local colleges and training providers to offer apprenticeship positions covering all of its delivery areas throughout Cumbria and Lancashire.
The apprenticeship roles it offers range from business administration and customer service to IT.
Recent changes to apprenticeship funding and the increased access to training opportunities has meant existing members of staff have also been able to access apprenticeship training, such as in accounting and finance, and Inspira is hopeful it will expand in to other disciplines.
Here, we meet Bob Hartland, 20, apprentice ICT and MIS technician, based at Inspira’s head office in Penrith and ask why he decided an apprenticeship was the right route for him into the world of work.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I wanted to gain some valuable real-world experience while also obtaining a qualification.
It’s a useful way to transition between full-time education and full-time work.
What did you get out of your apprenticeship?
I’ve gained a lot of work experience which I would not have had if I had chosen to do a university course instead.
I spend one day per week doing theory-based work at Carlisle College, which offers an interesting contrast to the practical work I do during the rest of the week.
Take us through a typical day
There’s a lot of variety from day to day. I’m always busy resolving IT issues. Some days I’ll be doing lots of different smaller tasks, other days I’ll spend the whole day one specific task such as maintenance on a group of laptops.
What do you like most about the apprenticeship?
I enjoy the satisfaction of being given a task and seeing it through to the end, especially if I learn a lot along the way and can then use that knowledge for my college coursework.
What do you like least about the apprenticeship?
When something isn’t working, even though all signs show that it should be working. Usually these types of problems just take a while fault-finding and they eventually get fixed, but it can be a little bit frustrating!
Why did you want to do this job?
I wanted to continue to the higher level IT apprenticeship which Inspira was offering. I enjoy being part of a company where I can get to know everyone and everyone is very friendly.
What jobs have you done previously?
I previously worked at a school as an apprentice IT technician gaining my level two qualification. I now have significantly more responsibility and am busier!
Any advice for people wanting to get into your profession?
Take a chance. If you see an opportunity, but aren’t sure if you’re qualified for it, just go for it.
Always try to keep up to date with what’s new in technology and IT – there are new developments all of the time.
Subscribe to our newsletter: get a glimpse of what it's really like to live and work in Cumbria.