“Feeling downtrodden and not expecting to get anywhere to joining the Amazon apprenticeship programme and achieving all this in just 2 years. It’s incredible..” – Michael Winter, IT Engineer Apprentice
Once struggling to find companies that would give him his chance, Michael Winter, an apprentice at Amazon, is now celebrating a special recognition from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
In July, BCS hosted its inaugural IT & Digital Apprenticeships Awards which recognises top digital and tech apprenticeship talent in the UK.
“The finalists’ experience showcase the variety of routes into an IT and digital career and the numerous different opportunities - Cyber, DevOps, Digital Marketing, Data, Artificial Intelligence and Software are just examples – to break into these critically important occupations that are in high demand in just about every sector.
The awards presentation evening included training providers, family and employers who are seeing the positive impact of the finalists’ learning and development firsthand.” – Annette Allmark, Head of Apprenticeships, BCS
Michael Winter, who is currently working towards his BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship with QA, was shortlisted for IT Infrastructure and Networks Apprentice of the Year 2022, earning Special Recognition in the category.
The road to success
Following college, Michael was eager to start an apprenticeship for the hands-on learning experience.
“I wanted a degree because that stays with you for life, but I didn’t think I would do well in an academic setting. I’m a hands-on learner. Plus, I liked the idea of no debt and earning money while I learned.”
Michael pursued apprenticeships but found it challenging to find companies in his area that would take a chance on him. Then came Amazon.
“Getting the Amazon apprenticeship meant the world to me.”
QA works with Amazon to deliver apprenticeship programmes to over 85 professionals across the business, supporting Amazon to recruit and upskill in digital and technology.
Nicola Drury, UK Head of Apprenticeships at Amazon, said: “The Amazon Apprenticeship programme is a great way to develop new skills and embrace new opportunities. We are very proud to be providing opportunities for upskilling and retraining for people of all ages, at all stages of their careers and are committed to delivering excellent career paths throughout the apprenticeships. I’d like to congratulate Michael on receiving this fantastic recognition for his work and wish him all the best for his future at Amazon. ”
Since joining Amazon as an apprentice, Michael has been able to get stuck in and learn fast. He values in particular the opportunities at Amazon to travel and work with various IT teams across the company, applying new skills from his QA apprenticeship programme to relevant and interesting challenges in the business.
“At Amazon, I’ve had the opportunity to help launch two new sites, helping the IT team to build and configure networking devices. It’s allowed me to apply my learning without any risk to live operations.”
Advice for fellow professionals
Michael credits his achievement to specialising in “something I really want to learn”. Apprenticeships have enabled him to channel his motivation to build new knowledge into real world applications.
“If you figure out what you want to do, then apprenticeships can make it happen.
If you want to change your life around – you may already have qualifications for another field, but you want to do something new – apprenticeships are a great way to start a new career.”