Apprentices ecstatic as they’re told ‘you’re hired’

Tom McAspurn and Andrew Pickering, apprentices at the Ground Floor Project, who now have full time work
Tom McAspurn and Andrew Pickering, apprentices at the Ground Floor Project, who now have full time work

Two upper Calder Valley apprentices were delighted to be told “you’re hired” after successfully securing jobs in the IT industry.

Tom McAspurn and Andrew Pickering who have both completed a one-year apprenticeship in IT at the Ground Floor Project/ Dot Communications in Hebden Bridge, should both start their new jobs next month.

Tom, who lives in Dodnaze, will provide technical support to the call centre at RCI Media Training, Elland, while also undertaking a level 4 IT apprenticeship. Andrew, from Todmorden, will be a service desk agent at Xerox in Leeds.

Tom, 23, who volunteered at Ground Floor for a year before undertaking the apprenticeship, said: “It’s great to be getting this new job. It’s a decent company that’s doing really well. There seems to be an opportunity to learn a lot and get some experience.

“The apprenticeship at Ground Floor has given me the opportunity to get this job and it’s been great being here. Without this place I’m not sure what I would have done.

“Before this apprenticeship I did a BTEC National at Calderdale College, but that didn’t get me very far. This apprenticeship and the next one will set me up for life for a career in IT.”

As part of their apprenticeship, which was overseen by Baltic Apprenticeships, Tom and Andrew learnt program management, computer networking and more. They have both also gained a Cisco qualification and an ITIL qualification - one of the best for service desk technicians, and more.

Andrew, 24, who was too old to receive Government funding to complete his level 4 IT apprenticeship and so went into full-time employment, said: “I’m really excited to start my new job. It’s going to give me financial stability for the first time. It’s a year-long contract but there’s a good chance of the being extended.

“Without this opportunity I would be on the dole. So without Ground Floor I wouldn’t be anywhere near getting an IT job.”

Les Siddall, chairman and trustee at the Ground Floor Project, said: “I am really proud of the apprentices we have had here. Ground Floor and Dot Communications has got a good record for getting the best out of our apprentices.

“I would dearly love to take both guys on here because they’re both really good, but with the lack of funding we have here it’s not possible.

“I think when people say they can’t give young people work because they haven’t got the skills or the experience they’re wrong and this just proves it.

“Andrew and Tom have become two of the best workers we have here.

“The apprenticeship has been good for these lads and good for us. We’re an example for others to follow.”

For information about the Ground Floor Project, which is located on Salem Street, Hebden Bridge, visit www.groundfloor.org.uk, call 01422-844991 or email admin@groundfloor.org.uk.