How Callum Found a New Beginning with Redsquid

Callum has been working as a Unified Communications Support Engineer for four years, but he begin his career at Redsquid as our very first IT apprentice. Here’s his Redsquid career story…

After studying for a BTEC Diploma in ICT for two years, Callum left education to work in an entry-level job in hospitality. However, this wasn’t his passion, and so left the role in search of something more in-line with his interests. Callum explained that this was how he came across an apprenticeship where he could study level 3 advanced IT, Software, Web, and Telecoms whilst in a work placement:

‘The apprenticeship scheme included a work placement at a local business, which was what really motivated me to apply. I wanted that opportunity to gain some work experience alongside my qualifications, and Redsquid seemed like the perfect choice. I was invited in for an interview with Vince (our CEO), and got to meet the rest of the support team as well. I must have made a good impression because they then took me on as their very first apprentice.’

Callum felt he receieved a lot of support from Redsquid during his time as an apprentice:

‘Both our head of IT and UC Support Manager, made sure that I gained as much knowledge as I could while I was working for him. Having the opportunity to learn from someone who actually worked in the field, meant that I eventually had the confidence to actively communicate with customers. The first time I successfully diagnosed and solved an issue for a customer, I felt like I’d really accomplished something, it was fantastic.’

Redsquid also ensured that Callum gained experience in a wide variety of departments during his apprenticeship:

‘They made sure that I didn’t put all my eggs in one basket when it came to the knowledge and experience I gained. I got to spend some time assisting in several departments; from IT, to unified communications, to marketing, which helped me get a good idea of how the business worked.’

This combination of practical experience and theory worked very well for Callum, as it gave him the opportunity to actually apply what he’d learnt from studying:

‘Having the placement at Redsquid, meant that I enjoyed a good balance between studying, and getting some invaluable work experience. Working as an apprentice for Redsquid really was the best of both worlds, as it gave me both the qualifications and the experience I needed to go further.’

Whenever Callum required more time to spend on his studies, Redsquid were happy to let him work on the theory side of his apprenticeship:

‘Redsquid were really accomodating, they understood that successfully passing my exams was important to me. So whenever my deadlines were getting tight or exams were approaching, I’d be allowed to focus on my studies for however long I needed to. It was very reassuring to know that I didn’t have to worry about whether my employer would give me that time to study.’

It also helped that Callum was being paid over minimum wage during his apprenticeship, otherwise he would not have been able to afford transport to and from college:

‘That money made the real difference for me. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to even complete my studies, let alone my work placement at Redsquid.’

When Callum’s apprenticeship was complete he was offered a permanent position at Redsquid in the UC department:

‘The prospect of working in a rapidly-growing department like UC was exciting, and one that I couldn’t see myself turning down. I was very familiar with the team at the time, and the practical experience I’d gained during my placement (along with my newly-acquired qualifications), obviously made me a good fit for the role.’

Callum remembers his apprenticeship as being a fantastic entry point into full-time employment:

‘For anyone looking to work in a supportive environment, whilst earning their qualifications, it’s the ideal opportunity. With an apprenticeship, the only way is up.’

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