Parents, Guardians and Carers

BUILDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF IT PROFESSIONALS

We understand the tough decision of deciding which path to go down after leaving high school is just as troubling for the parents/guardians.

Worried about finances and tuition fees? Are there any jobs available after study? Well, scrap the fees, scrap the loans and scrap the noisy student apartments! Gaining hands-on experience whilst being paid to train alongside industry professionals is what can be offered by an Apprenticeship.

The IT Sector is well-known for being well-paid. Please visit our Starting a Career in IT page for details on salaries in the sector.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT NOWSKILLS?

Firstly we’re IT Specialists. We know IT and if your son or daughter is a little bit geeky then the IT industry seems to be the best place for them, NowSkills is well placed to springboard them into a career in this well-paid fast-moving sector – find out more about NowSkills today!

BUT YOU’RE NOT A COLLEGE

No, we’re an independent training provider. We have the same Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) contract to deliver Apprenticeships in England. We are regulated by Ofsted and have to adhere to tough delivery standards set out by organisations including Pearson, Edexcel and City & Guilds. Many members of our team have worked in colleges and universities for most of their careers. When your son or daughter completes their IT Apprenticeships they will receive the same certificate and the same (though probably more) qualifications as if a college delivered the IT Apprenticeships.

Your son or daughter will not have to pay anything towards their Apprenticeship with NowSkill, the costs are covered either by a) the government or by b) their employer. We will handle that side of things, so the good news is, on completion of their Apprenticeship there will be no student debt to repay.

IT SPECIALIST TRAINING FROM GEEKY TRAINERS

We have a great IT technical training team who will work alongside your son or daughter to ensure they get the most out of their IT Apprenticeships –we have Vendor Approved and / or Certified Trainers who have many years of experience within the IT industry, which means our IT Apprentices receive the latest engaging training.

SAFEGUARDING FOR ALL OUR APPRENTICES

As parents or carers, you’re going to be concerned about safeguarding and that we look after your son or daughter whilst they’re on their IT Apprenticeships with us. Before we make arrangements for your son or daughter to attend an interview you can be sure that we’ve already been there and checked out the premises, the employer and the role. Employers can’t just phone up NowSkills and we send young people along for interview – we must have been there first.

It’s worth asking other training providers if they’ve been to visit the employers before they send your child for an interview.

The quality of our IT Apprenticeships placements is something we take very seriously. We have zero tolerance for even the less obvious health and safety issues such as stress and poor work-life balance. We are all about equal opportunities. Every opportunity we offer our Apprentices will be of high standard and with a commitment to teaching. If in the very rare case there are any issues, we take many precautions and will report any problems to the designated Safeguarding Officer for NowSkills. All of our staff attend courses in safeguarding children and young adults.

If during the course of the Apprenticeship you have any concerns about safeguarding for your child or with regards to any other learners you can contact us, visit this safeguarding page or email us safeguarding@nowskills.co.uk

WHO ARE THE EMPLOYERS?

We work with a diverse range of companies. Large employers offer different roles to smaller ones. For example, a large company offers a large office and benefits. An IT Apprentice may fit into a team with specific tasks. However, the role may not teach an IT Apprentice many all-round skills, as a 6 person IT Support company would, that works on a variety of networks. There is no one rule that fits all and It really depends on the role, the employer and the Apprentice.

When we visit employers we discuss the opportunity and we look at the employer’s motivations for wanting to employ an Apprentice, along with the environment and sector they would be working in. If we have a suspicion the employer is looking for cheap-labour then we won’t take the employer on. If the role is not IT focused, that is, the employer really wants a sales or administration Apprentice and they’re dressing it up as an IT vacancy. We will know and will decline the “opportunity”.

We can do this because our employer Engagement team are IT Geeks too! If it’s not an IT role we will know no matter what the employer claims. Compare that to a generic supermarket training provider or a college with hundreds of Apprenticeships on offer. We simply know the difference, if it’s not IT and a rewarding opportunity then we won’t take it on. NowSkills are not desperate for roles. We turn down several each week as they’re unsuitable for high-standard IT Apprenticeships.

It’s worth asking other training providers if they’re IT Specialists. And how they rank the employers and the IT roles they aim to fill.

THE APPRENTICE WAGE IS LOWER THAN WE’D LIKE

The Apprentice Minimum Wage is not a lot, you can see the latest rate here. It is true some employers do pay more, much more. When they do pay more, competition for these roles can be fierce, it also depends on whereabouts the job is located. Some areas have higher wages than others. If you work on the expectation that your child will earn the minimum, then any more is a bonus. We will always ask employers to pay more if they can.

An employer is taking a chance on an Apprentice. Nationally there is a high drop out rate and we know from other providers that the drop out rate can be high.

Employers want the Apprenticeships to work out, they want the next generation of IT professionals in their teams.

They’re willing to train and support. 

However, they won’t usually pay the bigger wages until the experience and the value for the employee increases. One day 1, new Apprentices can’t really do much and they have virtually no experience of commercial IT.

Take a longer-term view on the wage: The low wage allows employers to give a young Apprentice a chance. In 12 months your child will have a year’s commercial IT experience, a CV, a network of IT colleagues and several IT Vendor Qualifications. At 12 months, an Apprentice will automatically move to the National Minimum Wage which is approximately £3.50 per hour or more (depending on the employer). Their value in the jobs-market after 12 months experience will be higher than when they started. Why not “Google” jobs yourself and look at roles asking for 1 year’s experience related to the IT area they are interested. You will see that the one year invested in time is perhaps the best investment they could make.

In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later. – Harold Geneen

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