Digital, Data and Technology Apprenticeship – It’s never too late!

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

Picture of Jane, a Digital Data and Technology apprentice

It may seem like an odd choice as midlife crises go. An apprenticeship? In Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT)? When I took the plunge in 2020, I had no real idea what was in store. However, it turned out, to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

So, why an apprenticeship?

I had been working for many years as a special needs teaching assistant but with my own children grown, I was looking for a new challenge to take me into the next phase of my life. I wanted to find a career that I could embrace, that would teach me new skills and would reward the hard work and effort I put in. Although I had no previous experience in the DDaT field I was attracted by the broad range of careers available and the opportunity to gain qualifications while working as well as the flexible working hours offered.

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From Web Design to Welsh Government

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

Apprenticeships are a great way to earn while you learn, but what do they actually involve?! James, an alumni apprentice from our recent DDaT scheme is here to tell you.

How I got here

Picture of James

Before joining Welsh Government I had been working as a self-employed web designer for 10 years. I was good at making websites for small businesses, but I really wanted to expand my knowledge and learn more about all aspects of digital. I was also unhappy with how unpredictable being self-employed was and wanted to build a more stable career for myself and my family.

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A beginners understanding of what user research is

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Throughout school I always enjoyed taking part in making and designing new things for others (my favourite lesson being Textiles). I’m not implying that creating a dress is the same as implementing a policy, but they have very similar needs. These include, a (hopefully) happy user, an end product and that feeling of success! It turns out that by finding out what people wanted, and adapting to their needs I was actually carrying something called user research.

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From A Level to Apprenticeship

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Picture of Tia, Digital Data and Technology Apprentice

Planning my future looked as though it was going to be the biggest decision I would ever make in my life, so I tried avoiding it. Whilst coming to the end of my A-levels this year, not knowing what my favourite subject was, or whether I wanted to go to university, I was completely clueless. However, after speaking to those with experience it landed me in this amazing opportunity that provides so many choices. Continue reading

My experience as a working parent and apprentice in Welsh Government

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Picture of Sheree, a Digital Data and Technology Apprentice

In March 2019, I started my apprenticeship with the Welsh Government and my first placement is within Hwb’s Service desk team. Hwb is the National Digital Learning Platform which hosts a national collection of digital tools and resources to support learning and teaching in Wales. Continue reading

Apprenticeships – too good to be true?

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Picture of Dom, Digital Data and Technology ApprenticeBefore joining Welsh Government I completed my degree in History at the University of Reading. After graduating I wasn’t sure about what path to take regarding a career, as until then I’d only worked part-time jobs while at school. Over Christmas I started working in retail as a customer assistant, and began building my experience and skills. After 3 years and undertaking a variety of roles I decided that I did not see a long-term career in retail management and began searching for a different career path aligned with my interests. Initially I was debating going back to university to continue my education; however I was disappointed with the potential prospects offered by a Masters in History. I fired off applications for all sorts of jobs, from the National Crime Agency to air traffic control – just to try something different. Continue reading

Goodbye, Marking Books – Hello Business Analysis!

Picture of Josh, DDaT ApprenticeDarllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg.

In March 2019, I took a leap of faith in leaving my teaching job to join Welsh Government as a Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Pathway Apprentice. I’m now nearing the end of my first placement on the scheme and already it’s clear that I couldn’t have made a better choice in reinvigorating and future-proofing my career.

Prior to enrolling on the DDaT Pathway Apprenticeship I spent 5 years working as a Teacher, having specialised in Primary Education and Special Educational Needs. Whilst I found my work rewarding, the focus of the work was often administrative, and I regularly found myself having to work outside of my conditioned hours in order to meet the demands of the role. The six-week summers went some way to redress the balance but I was still having to work even during these holiday periods. Continue reading

Apprenticeships … Aren’t They Just For School Leavers? #olddognewtricks

A Career Change into a Digital, Data & Technology Apprenticeship

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How did I get here?

Picture of Ted, Digital, Data and Technology ApprenticeI worked for BT as a Project Manager for 25 years ….. and 12 months ago there was an opportunity for me to accept redundancy terms.

I really enjoyed my career in BT, but I felt that after spending the previous 10-15 years managing projects to deliver IT infrastructure, I really wanted the opportunity to be on the “other side of the fence” and actually get involved in the technical side of ICT world. Continue reading