James Eades, MD of Systemagic spoke to us about there Be Involved pledge. The company has been running for 21 years previously in Bath but moved to Bradford-On-Avon 4 years ago. They offer IT and cloud support to businesses in Wiltshire and Somerset. James started as a Junior Technician in 2002 but bought the business out in 2015.
Can you tell us why hiring apprentices is important to you?
I understand the importance of starting from the bottom and working your way up, although I was a University Graduate I started in this company as Junior Technician and worked up to MD. I feel I can give apprentices well rounded advice as I have done all jobs and worked on all aspects of the business. We have retained 5 apprentices over 12 years and hope to continue to do so. It is a big commitment, but it helps us to grow our own, the way the business is growing we know we will need more staff.
What advice would you give to other employers when recruiting an apprentice?
Find an apprenticeship provider that works with you – Wiltshire College works for us, they explained the process and answered any questions. Remember you are effectively taking on a normal member of staff, the usual recruitment processes apply, it should be treated like a normal job and the training provider will provide the skills part. I have seen changes over the 12 years we have been recruiting apprentices, the requirements to evidence 20% off the job training has improved and become tougher, which I think is great, don’t be put off by this. It shows apprenticeships are just as valid as an educational route as University.
Can you explain about your involvement in supporting Schools with Work Experience?
We offer work experience as often as we can, as it’s a great opportunity to showcase to future apprentices what our environment is like and what the industry is like. We see work experience as a way of feeding our apprenticeship scheme and a great way of giving back too.
Systemagic are open to apprentice applicants approaching them but will also be advertising in June 2020.