It's National Apprenticeship Week, so there's no better time to find out what our current apprentice Henry says about why he applied for the IT apprenticeship at Tangmere and what’s involved.

You may be surprised to find that Production (Commercial) Horticulture offers a broad and diverse range of jobs and opportunities for career development. It’s a significant industry within our region and is forecast to grow due to the increase in demand for fresh produce.

Henry, aged 19, is an IT and Automation Apprentice working at Tangmere Airfield Nurseries and is studying towards an IT Level 3 Certificate. The business relies on computer systems in all areas of its operations including state of the art automated packing and storage systems within the company Packhouse.

Q. How did you get into doing an apprenticeship?

I have always been keen to get involved with IT work because of my passion for computers and technology (from a young age, I would troubleshoot and repair games consoles). I started my apprenticeship in April 2015, after applying through the government website. Many people go on to university without actual work experience. I chose an apprenticeship as gaining work experience while getting qualified seemed like a good route to a future career.

Q. What did you learn early on?

A pepper goes through a lot more than you think before it hits the supermarket shelf! I started learning the Packhouse processes for checking and packing the peppers (e.g. the journey of a pepper) watching videos and reading guides, then practical, hands-on experience with other staff to maintain and support the computer applications linked to the automated equipment.

Q. How has the apprenticeship benefitted you?

My experience as an apprentice has been positive and exciting. I have obtained invaluable work experience at a young age, in a unique environment. I have expanded my IT / Automation knowledge and it has built my confidence in working with staff and external suppliers.

Q. What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship?

I’m proud to have learnt so much in a short space of time. It is great knowing I have the ability to fix and detect issues with no input and being trusted with the responsibility of looking after the system.

Q. What’s next?

My next goal is to finish my Level 3 but I’m also looking to gain some industry qualifications and build my career at Tangmere.

Henry’s mentor, IT Manager Stuart Millington says: “We wanted to take on someone who could be trained in and offer assistance with all aspects of our computer systems and to provide a young person with a great opportunity to enter the industry.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Henry for almost two years during which time it’s been rewarding to see him develop and progress in readiness to take on more responsibility. As the first successful apprenticeship for the business we now have the confidence to take on more apprentices.”

Useful websites:

www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships

www.getingofar.gov.uk

 

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