St Helens College IT apprentice, Nathan Holland, is making his way up the career ladder, gaining impressive work experience in Cincinnati, USA and rubbing shoulders with high profile clients.
Driven Nathan, from Warrington, is determined to progress his way to the top of his career. This determination has enabled him to complete the first 12 months of his level 3 IT, Software and Telecoms Apprenticeship and then secure a level 4 Civil Service Apprenticeship with the Department for Work and Pensions.
After completing his GCSEs at Great Sankey High School, Nathan studied a combination of A levels in order to fulfil his initial ambition of studying Architecture at university. However, after just three months, he realised that he preferred to learn through practical participation and with support from St Helens College, he gained an apprenticeship as a Software Test Engineer with ICC Solutions Ltd. Working as part of a team of seven to ensure software was easy to use and bug-free, Nathan carried out test cases and had to ensure all testing was recorded for future reference.
Spending four days a week in the workplace with ICC Solutions building his skills and experience and one day a week at College, broadening his knowledge, Nathan said, “Receiving support from the tutors and my assessor made all the difference when balancing my assignments at College with my practical experience at ICC Solutions. Once I started to get used to organising my workload and spending my time effectively in order to stay on track, that’s when I really felt that I was achieving the best results.”
He added, “I really enjoyed the Project Management unit of my apprenticeship as it enabled me to learn something new outside of our core IT units and how this transferrable skill can be used across a variety of sectors, not just IT.”
During his apprenticeship, Nathan had a unique opportunity to represent ICC Solutions in Cincinnati, USA, for one week, providing software test solutions to American clientele. His highlights from the trip include socialising with colleagues after work, experiencing business travel and gaining insight from professionals who have worked in the sector for many years.
Reflecting on his time at ICC Solutions, Nathan said, “This was my first big step in my career, so it felt very strange to be in a place full of people with such big responsibilities when I had never had any at this point. I had to meet with the CEO and Customer Relationships Director which was very daunting, but I really enjoyed my apprenticeship because it allowed me to tackle and overcome new challenges on a daily basis.”
Nathan is excited about the future and is passionate about sharing his experiences with young people who are looking to undertake an apprenticeship too. He said, “An apprenticeship is a really great way to progress in your career and get paid at the same time. It’s the best way of learning for those who are not necessarily suited to a classroom environment and can enable you to gain qualifications that can take you on to university.”
Upon completion of his level 4 Apprenticeship which is equivalent to degree level study, Nathan hopes to undertake the Civil Service Fast Stream, an accelerated career path to higher management and leadership across a variety of departments in the Civil Service from finance, data and technology to the Diplomatic Service and Houses of Parliament.
Level 3 IT, Software and Telecoms Apprenticeship
Civil Servant Apprentice, Department for Work and Pensions
Joined them from
Great Sankey High School