I left high school with 13 GCSE’s A-C with Maths, English and Science as compulsory. As I had a great passion for IT, I went onto complete an intense 6 month Advanced IT Apprenticeship with Zenos IT Academy at their Manchester location and my role was a Trainee IT Technician. On completion, I left with a Level 3 Extended Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles and many industry recognised technical vendor qualifications such as COMPTIA A+, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional plus many more.

I wanted to then use my skills in the real working world and went on to be employed by AQA (Examination Board). This was my first official job and was quite daunting due to only being 16 but AQA was a very supportive and welcoming company and my role was a Technical Contact Centre Advisor; I provided customer service to customers who were struggling with IT issues. These problems ranged from simple common IT issues to very complex ones that some computer illiterate people struggle to deal with. This job gave me the confidence to kick start my career in IT and achieve my personal goals.

I was enthusiastic about the idea of continuing my education and progressing and developing my skills further but also enjoyed the practical side of actually working. After hearing about Capgemini from a friend, I was eager to read up about the Higher Apprentice Programme and after reading about it I applied straight away. I am now employed full time by Capgemini as a Higher Apprentice and completing the role of an Oracle DBA working on a large public sector account.

My current role is within a bigger team, supporting the large number of applications for the client. Some of my tasks include handling our Incident Management System managing the call entering our database queue and supporting some of the less complex systems and fixes. Also shadowing my team members on the more complex systems we support is part of my day to day work as I have only been with the company for 7 months.

My experience at Capgemini has been everything I expected and beyond. I joined in July 2013 and embarked on a 13 Week Accelerated Learning Environment. The ALE training mainly consisted of programming languages which I had no experience in so this was a new learning curve for me. I passed all my exams successfully gaining skills in languages such as Python, Java, SQL, PL/SQL, and knowledge in Data Modelling and Project Management. After the 3 months of training, I came back to my base location which is Sale, Manchester to being my role on the account. I had a very supportive and experienced team to get me up to speed with skills on the account. Capgemini has allowed me to take control of my career and I have so many opportunities ahead of to succeed in the IT industry. Capgemini has and I have no doubt will continue to allow me to have financial stability at such a young age along with work experience and many more opportunities. I feel very valued by Capgemini and as we are treated as an employee from day one. Capgemini can see our potential and skills and place us in the business where we will firstly enjoy our job and secondly fit in best. You are 100% supported and Capgemini are there for us throughout our career journey ensuring we are developing in our roles and moving forward in the career ladder. You will hear many times from numerous employees at Capgemini that ‘apprentices are the future of Capgemini’.

I did consider going to university as I had my eyes set on a degree in IT/Software Development but the thought of being in debt soon changed my mind as to whether I really wanted to go down that route. Apprenticeships schemes are recently being viewed more positively and many are now offered by companies such as Capgemini. I soon had my mind set on finding a suitable apprenticeship and Capgemini’s programme stood out to me the most. It was an excellent opportunity to boost my skills and set myself up for life with a secure career that provides so much. The thing that attracted me was the 5 year programme allowing you to also study for a sponsored degree so you pay nothing which is better than university and your debt free! We receive excellent pay, gain excellent skills and Capgemini treat their employees better that you can imagine. There are so many opportunities to go up the career ladder within Capgemini, promotions, experience and never ending skills! Compared to my friends, I think I have progressed a lot faster than them and due the fact that I have the opportunity to work gaining skills and also having that opportunity of studying for a degree. Most of my friends headed off to university worrying about how they will struggle with their debt whereas I know I have that financial stability and can study for a sponsored degree which Capgemini offer on the programme.

I would definitely recommend looking into completing an Apprenticeship and Capgemini offer Advanced Apprenticeships for school leavers (individuals with GCSE’s or equivalent) and Higher Apprenticeships with a sponsored degree for individuals with A Levels or equivalent. If you really don’t think University is for you but you like the idea of the opportunity of having a degree and also gaining work experience and skills for very knowledge employees, then Capgemini is certainly an option. Capgemini are looking for individuals who have a real passion and interest for IT/Programming/Computing. Make sure you show the real you and demonstrate your skills and most importantly do not lie about skills you do not have! Capgemini want people who are dedicated to their career and want to develop their skills.

Taybah Gufar
Higher Apprentice,Capgemini UK plc