RDS Global appoints first apprentice from technology academy

Picture: Alex Cantrill-Jones / ACJ Media

A Derby College IT student involved in the organisation’s innovative Employer Academy programme has secured an apprenticeship with the company that provided him and others with valuable work experience as part of their study programme.

Brandon Bariana (19) joined the RDS Global Technology Academy earlier this year – spending 15 weeks learning about the different career opportunities available in the IT Industry.

All eight students on the Academy were invited to apply for apprenticeships at the end of their study programme and Brandon was successful.

He started work recently at RDS Global’s headquarters in St James’ Court, Derby, and will be supported on a level three IT Infrastructure and Engineering apprenticeship programme by Derby College assessors.

RDS Global was established in 1997 and specialises in providing tailored network services, IT support, cloud, hardware and consultancy solutions for 4,000 users in 200 locations across the UK in a range of sectors including automotive retail, builders’ merchants, care homes, hotel and hospitality and professional services.

Managing Director Phil Harvey is himself a former apprentice at Derby College – starting his working life in motor vehicle and then developing his transferable diagnostic skills to forge his career in the IT industry.

He said: “I am passionate that apprenticeships are good for both business and for the young person. It is an investment but the scheme enables us to embed our customer-focused culture and work ethos right from the start of an apprentice’s career. The employer academy programme with Derby College has been extremely positive.

“It has enabled us to work closely with all the students to show them the different career paths so that they knew about us and what they wanted to do when applying for the apprenticeship.

“We were particularly impressed with Brandon who has proved himself to be quietly capable and enthusiastic about working for us.

“We now plan to expand the technology academy from September – working with 16 IT students over a 34 week work experience programme and there will be future apprenticeships available this time next year.”

Brandon, who came to Derby College from Littleover School, continued: “I have always loved IT and started working alongside my granddad from an early age – taking computers to pieces and re-building them.

“I applied to join the employer academy to get some work experience and jumped at the chance to apply for the apprenticeship as it is the best of both worlds to earn and learn at the same time.

“I particularly like the hands-on aspect of IT and my ideal job would be working as a network administrator – looking after all the computers and systems on a site. I am very grateful to Derby College and RDS Global for this opportunity.”

Derby College Deputy Principal April Hayhurst concluded: “RDS Global is a leading light in our employer academy programme – working with a wide range of local, regional and national businesses and organisations.

“They have provided our students with fantastic opportunities to explore the different career paths available to them in IT as they decide on their next steps – whether that is onto university, a higher apprenticeship or into work.

“By gaining work experience with different teams at RDS Global students are able to see what the different job roles are really like – helping to bring their study programme to life and give them a clear line of sight to the workplace.”