QA had a fantastic night at the 2018 Scottish Apprenticeship Awards on 15 November, as QA apprentice Nathan Fagan was recognised as a SCQF Level 6+ Modern Apprentice of the Year finalist. Nathan completed his Modern Apprenticeship (MA) in systems and networking in 13 months – rather than the standard timeframe of two years – and has used his apprenticeship qualifications to gain advanced entry into university to study computer science.

Nathan became interested in IT through gaming and secured an MA with accountancy practice French Duncan LLP in Glasgow so he could learn while working. Since joining the firm’s IT support team in February 2017, he has proven himself a highly valuable employee and was promoted to IT systems analyst. He took on a key role in implementing an integrated phone system, which enabled better communication across the business and positively impacted its profitability.

Nathan is French Duncan’s first apprentice – IT director Andrew Guy wanted to bring an apprentice on board to provide the opportunity to get an education while learning the firm’s systems and culture. “That is really attractive to us,” he says. “We will potentially take on more apprentices in the future.”

Nathan appreciates that his apprenticeship has allowed him to quickly put his learning into practice. “Everything I have learned through the apprenticeship is transferable to what I do on a daily basis,” he says. “If you’re doing an apprenticeship, you get paid and can gain work and study to gain the same qualifications as you would get from going straight to university.”

“We’re extremely proud of Nathan and what he’s achieved through his apprenticeship,” says Chris Shekleton, Director of Sales Scotland at QA. “Nathan really impressed his employer with his drive, ambition and hard work – he’s a shining example of how apprenticeships are a win-win for the learner and employer alike. We’re so excited to see where he takes his future career in the tech sector.”

Cortex Worldwide wins QA-sponsored Scottish SME Employer of the Year award

QA also sponsored the SME Employer of the Year award, won by Cortex Worldwide – an Edinburgh-based digital marketing company that count Microsoft among their clients. Cortex employ 28 staff in Scotland and have invested significant resources into their Worldwide Apprenticeship Programme, which encourages digital hopefuls to advance their careers through a non-traditional route. By investing in future talent, they are helping to bridge the tech skills gap in Scotland, one apprentice at a time.



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