5 years of apprenticeships at Invotra

Have you ever wondered what happens after an apprentice completes their programme? Our client, Invotra hired some of our very first Developer apprentices back in 2011. We caught up with them to see how their apprentices are getting on now.

5 years on

Have you ever wondered, what happens after an apprentice completes their programme? What will their career look like 5 years from now? 

Our client, Invotra hired some of our very first Developer apprentices back in 2011, when our Software and Web Development programme was first launched.

Paul Zimmerman, COO at Invotra, writes a guest case study about how their apprentices are getting on now, five years into their career.

Celebrating 5 years of apprenticeships at Invotra

In June 2011, Invotra (iO1, as it was known then) was a very young company.

When the seeds of what were to become Invotra were just taking root, we took a major decision: in order to recruit the best talent to do what we wanted to do, we needed to develop our own talent. At that stage, the notion of hiring apprentices was pretty much one of economic necessity. Invotra couldn’t have afforded paying over the odds for software engineers or drupal experts. The market commanded a premium for folks with deep technical skills.

We decided to engage the team at QA. We had initially signalled that we only needed one apprentice resource; but, when two pitched up to the interview, we couldn’t choose between them. They both shared the character and quality traits we wanted in the future Invotra.

Billy Clackers and Nqobile Dube joined the company in the first week of June 2011. They were both 18. In Billy’s case, he didn’t even know HTML. To say they were green was a massive understatement.

We had initially signalled that we only needed one apprentice resource; but, when two pitched up to the interview, we couldn’t choose between them. They both shared the character and quality traits we wanted in the future Invotra.

Paul Zimmerman

COO | Invotra

What’s happened in the intervening five years?

Billy



Billy has gone on to be Invotra’s Head of Product. He works with our CEO and me on the product’s vision, strategy and roadmap. He now manages a team of three who are focussed on areas like user experience, design and accessibility.

Nqobile



Nqobile was promoted to Technical Services Manager in 2015, where he currently leads the team (some of whom are more than twice his age) responsible for “keeping tens of thousands of customers happy” (his words) by ensuring that our systems are running and stable every minute of every day.

Where do apprentices get us?

Apprentices and apprentice graduates like Billy and Nqobile; where do they take a company? The simple answer is, they take us everywhere we want to go. 

Apprentices, when fully supported, give so much. They work exceptionally hard. They understand our customers. They understand our product. They get service, and when our service could potentially let our customers down. And they get the wider market. They see technological trends before others.

Today, ⅓ of our entire staff are either apprentices or apprentice graduates.

Just this week, we’ve learned that one of our apprentices, Edward Ireson, has completed his apprenticeship and is awaiting receipt of his certifications next month. Ed is quickly becoming one of Invotra’s better search & Solr experts.

In the last month, we’ve hired three new apprentices in Umaan Ali (digital marketing apprentice), Jordan Laughton (project management apprentice) and Ben Taylor (software apprentice).

Apprentices, when fully supported, give so much. They work exceptionally hard… Today 1/3 of our entire staff are either apprentices or apprentice graduates.

Paul Zimmerman

COO | Invotra

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Our customer

Invotra enhances productivity and efficiencies through people, content and things (IoT). Central to the employee engagement, internal communications and digital transformation strategies for large organisations: Invotra provides employees with a unified interface where they engage with people, knowledge & their environment with the sole purpose of getting their job done.

www.invotra.com

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