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Meet ICT apprentice: Jerram Eggink

14 October 2022

Prior to starting an IT apprenticeship with Bluecube, Jerram was a chef for 14 years. He has had an interesting career so far; beginning with an apprenticeship in the New Zealand army, after that he worked in Queensland, Australia managing sites on the gas and oil rigs. He then moved to the UK and began working in the catering industry as a chef in London.

At the beginning of March 2020, Jerram and his partner had planned to move back to Australia. They moved out of their London flat, and temporarily moved into a friend’s place in Northampton. Unfortunately, the timing coincided with the Coronavirus pandemic and the beginning of a series of global lockdowns. Overnight, the catering industry shut down, and Jerram was not able to find stable work as a chef. He decided to start from scratch and embark on a new career path. He wanted a new career in an industry that had no possibility of shutting down overnight, and is geographically redundant, which led him to look for opportunities in IT.

jerram, an ict apprentice at bluecube

Why did you choose to do an IT apprenticeship with Bluecube?

Interestingly, I didn’t directly apply for an ICT apprenticeship with Bluecube. I originally went for an interview at Hireful, however, during the conversation it was clear that what they were offering and the things I’m interested in weren’t aligned and I was not quite the right fit for the role.

But the interviewer at Hireful saw potential in me and sent a recommendation email to Dean Whitehead (Technical Consultant at Bluecube). It was Dean that put me in touch with Rob Gilbride (Head of Talent and Development), who I then interviewed with and then joined the apprenticeship programme at Bluecube.


What’s been your favourite part of the apprenticeship so far?

A real stand out moment for me were the training sessions we did with Steve Richardson on Emotional Intelligence Training. He is a Clinical Psychologist and it was a real highlight and fantastic opportunity. I have an interest in psychology, so was especially engaged when we learned all about how people think and behave at work. The sessions covered self-awareness, how to process emotions, what they mean and gave us all constructive ways of dealing with our range of emotions and understanding them better.

Another part of the apprenticeship I have enjoyed is the technical aspect to the role. I’m a very methodical person so I’ve found this learning extremely interesting. I don’t find it difficult to put my head down and study. I really enjoy that aspect of the apprenticeship. For me, learning new things is one of the most enjoyable elements of the scheme.


Talk us through your apprenticeship so far, have you had the opportunity to work in different teams across the business?

I started in the Crisis Response team initially and was involved in a few big projects with clients. After this, I moved into the service desk team and have been there since. As we’re adding a lot of value to this team, it’s been easy to stay with this team.

In the future, I would also be interested in working with the Projects team and the Security and Ops teams.


How’s your apprenticeship going?

Compared to many others on the apprenticeship scheme, I’m starting again in my 30’s. It’s been a different experience, and as learning the field of IT is new for me, I miss that feeling of being competent and knowledgeable. Something you only gain from working in a role or industry for many years.

This apprenticeship is a really great stepping stone into the industry and as a means to start a new career path. In total, it’s around 12 to 18 months long and although for me there was a pay cut, I have thoroughly enjoyed learning new skillsets and the overall learning process.


Any standout skills that you’ve learned?

There isn’t one particular skill that stands out, mainly because working on the service desk offers a broad experience and requires multiple skills.


What does a typical day look like working on the IT service desk at Bluecube?

It’s a fairly typical service desk role so the main things we handle are: taking calls from clients, triaging tickets of varying IT issues - such as auditing, providing reports, helping someone who has been locked out of their account, granting permissions to security groups, creating SharePoint sites, and fixing printers, among many others!


What has been the most challenging element of the apprenticeship?

Whilst working on the service desk, the most challenging part is the sheer volume of tickets, which means that a great degree of multitasking is needed to deal with that. You’re often dealing with multiple tickets at once and always responding to emails. When you close one ticket, you quickly pick up another so there is a small degree of needing to solve tickets quickly but efficiently as there are so many people needing your help.


What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?

I would be really interested in working in project management, operations or AI automation. With AI automation, it would be a steep and long learning curve. This is an area that I think will be potentially very valuable still in 10 to 15 years’ time so I would like to spend some time studying this field and looking into it further.


How do you think this apprenticeship will people you in your future career?

The soft skills learned have been invaluable and are something that will always be needed in every workplace. Technology changes and advances, but people are always going to need to know how to deal with people.

For me, the biggest question during this apprenticeship is finding what will still be useful and needed in the future.


What advice would you give to someone starting an apprenticeship?

Get to know the people within the organisation. It’s worthwhile spending time trying to build relationships with people. Often, in a work environment it’s the team around you that makes or breaks you and has a huge impact on your experience.

I find that people who are good at building relationships do well and have the most satisfying careers.