Julie-Ann Hammond, Employer Engagement Manager - Digital Technologies talks about RITTech and apprenticeships.

What is your role at MK college? How long have you worked there?

I’m an Employer Engagement Manager and have worked at MK College for three years. I am the first point of contact for employers when talking about digital technologies. With more employers joining our digital apprenticeships, and the launch of our new Institute of Technology (IoT) located on the original footprint of the heritage Bletchley Park site, it’s an exciting time to be part of the employer engagement team.

How are you involved in the apprenticeships side of the college?

I help employers to understand how they can grow their talent pipelines and support them in recruiting and training digital apprentices in IT Infrastructure, Digital Marketing, Software Development, Network Engineering and Data Analysis. I enjoy providing a quality service to help employers identify their apprenticeship requirements, and then seeing the positive impact that an apprentice can have on their business.

How important is it that apprentices can add value to their CV upon completion of their apprenticeship?

I think it’s really important. At MK College we are passionate about lifelong learning - no matter where you are in your journey, you’re always learning. For those apprentices working as digital practitioners, keeping your skills and knowledge up-to-date is even more important. That’s why we encourage all our IT and digital apprentices to register with BCS to continue their learning and further enhance their career prospects.

How has BCS been supporting your apprentices along their apprenticeship path? And supporting them after they complete?

MK College is a BCS approved apprenticeship training provider. This means that throughout their training, our IT apprentices have the opportunity to attend BCS events, such as webinars with industry experts, which really adds to their learning and continuous professional development. Our IoT apprenticeship trainers are also all BCS members and set an example to our apprentices about taking up BCS membership and the benefits it provides.

What do you think RITTech gives an apprentice completer?

RITTech takes their apprentice training to the next level. They complete the first step with us, then we encourage them to continue on their learning journey with BCS. By joining BCS and becoming registered, they get access to resources, publications and events that help them learn more about the sector and keep their skills up-to-date. They also get the opportunity to network with other IT professionals and access regional and national membership events, building contacts along the way.

How would you describe RITTech to an apprentice?

RITTech is the professional standard for IT professionals. I always suggest to our IT apprentices that they register with BCS to ensure they feature on the register of IT technicians and can demonstrate their professional status by using letters after their name. It’s also about credibility. It cements their apprenticeship and is the ideal next step to build on their learning.

Have you had many go onto the RITTech register after completing an apprenticeship?

I personally encourage all of our apprentices to go onto the RITTech register. Whether it’s our software developers, our IT infrastructure technicians, data analysts or digital marketers, all our apprentices are encouraged to apply as they move on to the next step in their careers. It’s really rewarding to see the apprentices completing their training and getting their professional industry accreditation having been with them on their journey from the beginning to the end.