Modern Apprenticeships at Onestop IT Solutions pave the way for bright futures.
Onestop IT Solutions, founded by Ally Hollins-Kirk, helps business owners manage their IT. The pace of technological change in IT means that Onestop IT Solutions are perfectly placed to support your business objectives in a simple and efficient way, providing you with the IT solutions needed to grow and improve sales, operations and profit without needing to have an internal IT expert.
Set up in 2003, Ally now has a team of 11 and has been involved in the Modern Apprentice scheme since it started. The team currently includes 3 modern apprentices, a member of staff who has completed their apprenticeship and is now a Microsoft qualified engineer and 1 employee completing a graduate apprenticeship with the business.
We caught up with Ally to find out more about why he’s such an advocate for the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme.
What attracted you to modern apprenticeships and hiring through this scheme?
I’m a big advocate of lifelong learning and the apprenticeship scheme allows this to happen from your very first job – it’s a blend of hands on and educational learning. This gives people a purpose, a motivation and a sense of growth which isn’t often found in your first job out of school.
I also want to give young people a chance to grow and develop and to really make a difference. IT has a lot of job options and growth opportunities from sales to engineering, relationship building to technical experts meaning apprentices can be ambitious about where they want to go. I love encouraging people to be ambitious and the modern apprenticeship scheme allows young people to strive for a great career.
How did you find out about Modern Apprenticeships?
I originally found out about it through Skills Development Scotland. I then met with Developing the Young Workforce after they saw one of my presentations to a class in a local school. This led to me becoming a mentor and helping school aged kids get a 4-week paid internship with a number of businesses. This was much more valuable to them and the businesses themselves than the usual one week unpaid work experience.
I’m now on the board for Developing the Young Workforce and give my team the chance to mentor the young people we employ, giving staff further opportunity to progress and grow.
How many apprentices have you hired over the years?
I’ve employed around 10 modern apprentices over the years and all still work in IT. I don’t expect people to stay at Onestop IT Solutions forever – I want them to take the learning from their time in our business and achieve amazing things in their careers. One young person who worked with us is now an IT Director of a global IT firm and their journey started in our office!
Any top tips for employers looking to hire an apprentice or young person at the moment?
Just do it! You’re giving a young person a chance to shine and develop invaluable skills that they’ll tap into for the rest of their life.
When hiring, be clear about what the job entails and what is expected. Set clear boundaries and show young people what success could look like for them. This allows them to have a target for growth and helps them to feel motivated. Employees want to be valued, known for their work and encouraged to be the best that they can be, so nurture them and they’ll shine!
Finally, work closely with Developing the Young Workforce. They have years of experience and understand what both employer and apprentice is looking for. They provide invaluable support and can help you and your apprentice achieve great things.
How Onestop IT Solutions Have Worked with Business Gateway Midlothian
Business Gateway Midlothian lead, Annie Watt said, ‘Connecting with Ally to discuss the Different support we could offer his business immediately led to a lengthy conversation about his passion of developing young people. Ally is full of enthusiasm for the modern apprenticeships scheme and encouraging young people to continue learning while earning at the same time. At a time when IT is a significant growth market more opportunities will be opening up in the market so now is a great time for young people to consider this as a career option.
Our team and the team at DYW can support all businesses to get involved in the scheme.’
To hear more about the fantastic work that Onestop IT Solutions is doing in Midlothian today, check out their website.