Insight

Engineering Apprenticeships at Forfusion: An Insider's Insight

by Connor Massey 24.07.18

At Forfusion, our team are our most important asset. That’s why we’re firm believers in apprenticeship schemes, as well as fast-track training programmes to help develop and nurture our talent. We know that if you’re not advancing, then neither are we.

We’ve chatted with Connor, our engineering apprentice to get a first-hand insight into life at Forfusion as an apprentice.

Why did you decide you would like to do an engineering apprenticeship at Forfusion?

I decided that I wanted to do an apprenticeship when I was still in sixth form. While I was studying there, I realised that I preferred a hands-on approach, so an apprenticeship was an obvious choice for me.

I knew that I wanted to work for Forfusion during my initial interview with them; they put emphasis on how important past apprentices have been for the company, which made me feel like I could make a real difference. The experience has been brilliant so far, the team allow me to manage my own time, which is great as I know what I need to prioritise.

How did you find out about the vacancy and apply?

I found the vacancy through Baltic Training. The process was straightforward. Firstly, I had a telephone interview with Baltic and after this, I received weekly or fortnightly calls about apprenticeships they currently had available and some information about the companies offering the apprenticeships. It was during one of these calls that Baltic mentioned Forfusion and I knew I wanted an interview.

Fortunately, Baltic arranged the interview to work around my schedule. At the time I was working part-time at McDonald's as well as coming to the end of sixth form, so there was a lot of coursework and revision for exams to be done. Baltic had multiple calls with me in the run-up to the interview, which helped me prepare and gave me the best chance of getting the apprenticeship.

What does your job involve?

My role involves working on the Support Desk, where we have our own specialisations and mine is the Microsoft UC (Unified Communications). This involves applications such as Skype for Business and PeterConnects. Skype for Business is an enterprise communications platform used by multiple customers. Skype can be used to IM (Instant Message), audio and video conference and connect using Meeting/Conference Phones (Polycom phones) and Surface Hubs.

PeterConnects is the application we use for receptions for various customers. The application can be used for answering calls, placing calls on hold, transferring, conferencing in other callers and setting up conference calls. It also allows us to create IVRs (Interactive Voice Response), call queues and more.

My primary role would be first line support for the applications mentioned above. My secondary role would be classed as internal support, where I have taken on the responsibilities of setting up new starters' laptops, fixing or sending laptops back that are still under warranty and day-to-day internal support as well.  

How have you found the work so far?

When I started back in September I initially found some of the work quite challenging, but with the help and support of my colleagues I quickly settled in and the overall experience has been very rewarding.

It’s great being part of the team as I get given responsibilities that not only keep my days busy with work I enjoy doing but also enables me to have time to complete my coursework and revise for exams.

What do you enjoy the most about your role?

The most enjoyable and satisfying part about my apprenticeship is when I configure and solve something without referring to any documentation. This has continued over the duration of the apprenticeship as the issues and requests have become more complex. Another thing I enjoy about the apprenticeship is the work environment as there is always someone willing to help if I do get stuck.

What do you find most challenging about your role?

The most challenging part is balancing coursework, exams, online webinars and day-to-day work requirements. This has become easier because of the help I’ve been getting from my line manager, colleagues on the service desk and improvements in my own time management.

Thankfully for the first month, I had another apprentice showing me what he does and what I’d be taking over, so I had a thorough hand-over.

What’s it like working at Forfusion?

Working at Forfusion is great because it gives me the opportunity to work with highly-skilled engineers that allow me to ask a multitude of questions. Even the senior staff make time for me if I have any questions or highly technical faults. This lets me accelerate my knowledge and helps develop my current skillset which is a bonus as I want to be a fully qualified engineer as soon as possible.

Another benefit is that Forfusion strongly believes in a great working culture and constantly does what it can to improve employee satisfaction. For example, they pay for your gym membership, eye appointments, provide free drinks and healthy snacks in the office and other perks.

What do you hope to do after your apprenticeship?

I hope to continue to a level 4 apprenticeship with Forfusion as I’m currently enjoying the mix of online courses, exams and work placement where I can talk directly to the customer and work through problems and faults with them. After my level 4 apprenticeship, I hope to get a job here as a first or second line support engineer.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship instead of full-time college or university?

I would highly recommend an apprenticeship if you are wanting hands-on experience where you can study and gain certifications and qualifications at the same time. It’s also a huge bonus to be earning a salary rather than incurring student debt. Unlike university, if you do change your mind on the industry or path you want to go down, you can always change path once your apprenticeship is over.

At Forfusion, we foster a culture of multi-sector specialists and give you the platform to rapidly enhance your experience and gain industry-recognised accreditations. If you’re interested in finding out more about our apprenticeship schemes, head over to our careers page or drop us an email at hello@forfusion.com.

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