Ipswich: IT pioneer made his mark as apprentice

Ipswich: An ambitious IT professional is today calling on schools to back The Evening Star’s apprenticeship campaign after securing his dream job through the training scheme.

“Whatever apprenticeship you do, you definitely learn communication and team work skills. You get a better understanding of how a company works,” said Chris Jones, 22, who is just weeks into his first full time job within the IT wing at Suffolk County Council.

As youth unemployment rockets to unprecedented levels, The Evening Star is throwing down the gauntlet to employers in Suffolk to make a real difference – and take on 100 apprentices in 100 days.

Mr Jones secured his dream job after completing a 12-month IDEA/IT training scheme with the council and is hoping our 100 in 100 campaign will help raise the profile of apprenticeships in Suffolk.

“I think it is a really misunderstood route that is often viewed as a less academic option. I completely disagree with that, the careers counsellors are wrong when they say an apprenticeships is the softer option,” said Mr Jones, of Kesgrave.

In fact, Mr Jones did set out on a more traditional course, completing his A-Levels before embarking on an IT and business course at Suffolk New College, graduating with an NVQ Level 3 BTEC.

He said: “I thought I would come out of college and walk into a job.

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“I had the qualifications but I knew on-the-job experience was highly valued so the apprenticeship seemed to offer the best of both worlds.”

During his apprenticeship he worked with the Customer Service Direct team at Suffolk County Council, helping set up the new computing technology. When it came to the end of the year-long training scheme, Mr Jones was in a perfect position to move up the ladder.

n Have you been an apprentice and have a view on this campaign? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.