Posted by on 08 June 2017

James Bingham portrait

James Bingham
Interim IT Business Partner for Professional Services and Corporate and Research Systems Team Leader
Exeter IT

How are apprentices embedded within my team

Jay Bush is employed in my team as a System Support and Development Officer and he enrolled on to do the Digital and Technology Solutions Apprenticeships.  Jay’s role within my team is primarily developing solutions for the business where he has identified the business problem, gathered requirements (Business analyst) and then developed the system using a coding language.  He also supports more junior developers within Exeter IT by mentoring and coaching them.

How apprentices make a valuable contribution, and add value, to my team

Jay is a very experienced software developer who is always wanting to learn and uses the proven practice to ensure processes are being followed to ensure that developments are on time and specification

This specific Apprenticeship has given Jay access to modules and area’s that he might not have necessarily had the opportunity to pick-up via courses provided by HR.  He is then able to use this new knowledge in his day to day role

My experience managing/mentoring an apprentice

I meet monthly with Jay on a 1 to 1 basis and also monthly as part of the Research Systems Team.  In these meetings, we discuss priorities, work completed, training, any barriers that have hindered development and then how best to overcome them.

From a mentoring and coaching perspective Jay took up very little of my time as he is an experienced developer.

Managing apprentices 20% off-the-job training time commitment

As part of the 1 to 1’s we discuss what Jay has learnt/learning from the Apprenticeship programme and if an opportunity arises within the department that enables him to put into practice what he learnt then he will be given the opportunity.

Regarding the training time commitment of the Apprenticeship, we discussed the workload and how will this be covered.  We came to an agreement that at certain times he may be required to ‘catch-up’ on his day to day tasks by either working slightly longer days or if he felt that he couldn’t meet a deadline that I would discuss this with the relevant area of the business in order to manage their expectations, though this rarely happened.

I am more than happy to speak to other line managers face to face to discuss any potential/perceived worries they have around apprentices.

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