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Karl BrookerA career in the IT industry can be difficult if you don’t have the right qualifications and work related experience. An Apprenticeship in IT at St Helens College can be the perfect solution, as Karl Brooker discovered.

Karl, a former pupil at Byrchall High School went on to study A-levels at a sixth form college before embarking on a career in the Merchant Navy. After six months, Karl realised that it wasn’t the career for him and gained full time employment with Asda as a home shopping delivery driver.

With no formal qualifications in IT, but with a keen interest in the subject Karl applied for an apprenticeship vacancy at St Helens College for a Help Desk Technician. He felt that an apprenticeship would be the ideal route for him as it would provide a qualification as well as valuable work experience. Studying on a Level 3 Apprenticeship in IT would allow Karl to work four days a week and attend classes on one day to gain an IT qualification.

Karl says “An apprenticeship allows you to develop new skills in the classroom and put them into practice in the workplace. The tutors and assessors have a wealth of industry experience that they pass on to students. My assessor was a former computer programmer and he provided me with some really useful tips.”

St Helens College recognised the potential in Karl and his hard work and commitment were rewarded when he was offered a permanent position at the College as an ICT Network and Systems Officer. Although challenging, Karl enjoys his work and is considering developing his skills further by studying on a HNC programme and would like to progress onto a Foundation Degree.

Karl concludes “I would recommend the IT apprenticeship programme to anyone that is interested in pursuing a career in the industry. It is really difficult to get a job in this industry without both the required qualifications and work experience and the apprenticeship route provides both.”