Archive | November 2019

10 benefits of doing an apprenticeship

Earlier this week, we were lucky enough to be joined by some of our fantastic apprenticeship partners in hosting an Apprenticeships Roadshow at our Hatfield office.

The event was hugely successful, providing a great opportunity for staff who are interested in developing their skills to meet with our apprenticeship experts.

Following on from this fantastic event, we take a look at some of the many incredible benefits of doing an apprenticeship.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a form of learning that combine study with a full time job.

While studying for a formal qualification, you’ll gain valuable experience and skills by working in a real job for a real company. From here, you are able to progress onto the next stage of your chosen career.

Who can apply for apprenticeships?

Despite the common misconception that apprenticeships are only available to people of school leaving age, they are actually open to those aged 16 or over living in England and not in full-time education.

Entry requirements for apprenticeships

Each apprenticeship opportunity is different, and vacancies will specify the different entry requirements and professional qualities that your employer is looking for.

Remember to check the job description to ensure you have the necessary skills that are required.

What are the benefits of apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships can often be seen as being for people who ‘didn’t do well at school’ or can’t get into University, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They are a fantastic way to learn new skills, grow as a person and give yourself a brilliant start to your career.

Let’s have a closer look at some of the many benefits of enrolling in an apprenticeship:

1. Earn while you learn

Doing an apprenticeship is a unique opportunity, allowing you to start earning your own money, while also expanding your knowledge and helping you learn plenty of new skills.

While you may start out on minimum wage or a basic rate of pay initially, your employer should review this as you progress through your employment with them.

2. Discover new passions and interests

You’ll be learning every day, and with this comes a fantastic way to discover new things that might interest you.

It’ll also help you decide if your chosen career path is actually right for you or not.

3. Gain real life experience

In a recent study by UCAS, one third of employers felt that job applicants did not have a satisfactory level of knowledge about the job they’ve applied for.

Working in your role will equip you with invaluable knowledge and experience that will set you apart from other applicants for future job roles, who may not have these same skills.

Academic achievements are absolutely wonderful, however where some may have a degree, apprentices have real life exposure and an increased understanding into the day to day of your chosen job role or career path.

4. Get valuable qualifications

At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll not only have work experience within an organisation, you’ll have qualifications too.

Apprenticeship qualification levels

There are different levels of apprenticeships that you can take part in, which are equivalent to the different qualifications you would receive if in full-time education.

Apprenticeship NameLevelEquivalent Qualification
Intermediate 2GCSE
Advanced3A Level
Higher4 and 5Foundation Degree
Degree6 and 7Degree

5. Start to build your professional network

You’ve probably heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

This is often very true in the world of work.

Building your professional network can be a fantastic way to strengthen your career. It can be a great way to exchange ideas with others in your sector, can help to raise your own personal profile, and can open up a world of potential opportunities in the future be it job roles, speaking slots or freelance work.

Starting this early can be invaluable; you never know where a new relationship or connection may lead!

6. Increase your earning potential

Having a degree can be hugely beneficial in the workplace, however it isn’t the only deciding factor in how much you eventually go on to earn.

A recent study actually found that apprentices often earn more than graduates, with the amount apprentices earning over the course of their lives outstripping that of graduates by up to 270 percent!

7. Receive one-to-one support

You’ll receive personal support from your training provider, who will be on hand whenever you have questions, worries or concerns.

8. Improve your employability

Having an apprenticeship on your CV shows your potential future employers that you’ve got the necessary skills to complete a qualification while juggling the responsibilities of a full time job.

It shows your dedication to your chosen field and your ability to build knowledge from the ground up.

9. Make new friends

Apprenticeships are a great way to meet new people and make friends with people from a range of different generations, backgrounds and cultures.

10. Develop as an individual

As well as earning a wage and learning valuable skills, an apprenticeship will also help you develop as an individual.

A successful apprenticeship programme will help increase your confidence, give you more independence and improve your understanding about yourself and how you work. Your communication skills will develop along with your time management and relationship skills.

Apprenticeships at Computacenter

Our apprentice numbers have grown from 5 to 70 in just over two years, with each individual developing their knowledge and gaining qualifications through work based learning. We offer apprenticeships throughout the UK, and have a real passion for developing young people in our business.

You can choose between a variety of different entry options depending on your level of educational achievement and abilities. With dedicated staff and structured programmes available, there is no better time to become an apprentice at Computacenter.

Apply for apprenticeships at Computacenter

When was the last time you took a memory test?

Despite the proliferation of devices now available it’s good to see recent surveys showing the continuing relevance of the humble PC.

One such recent Intel survey questioning the ‘Importance of the laptop’ concluded that over 80% of respondents agreed with the statement – “I often use my computer when I need to get things done that matter” and a further 70% agreed that – “I feel that the time I spend on my computer is time well spent”. It’s results like this that endorse that the PC is still, in the main, the preferred weapon of choice for productivity and getting the work done for most people.

The business tasks and workloads we ask our PCs to deliver continue to increase. More and more multitasking as well as numerous applications running in the foreground and background are in danger of making what is an essential work tool slow down our productivity and detrimentally impact our user experience. 

Whilst silicon manufacturers do a fantastic job evolving their CPUs to keep a pace with our growing power-hungry requirements, we have started to see other aspects of the system becoming more of a bottleneck to performance. A number of years ago it was considered a big advancement when IT decision makers started realising the benefits and approving the use of Solid-State Drives (SSD) over the traditional ‘spinning’ Hard Disk Drives. Whilst SSD does indeed offers greater performance over its spinning rival they still lag behind the performance of their volatile memory DRAM cousins that make up the PCs main system memory.

Introducing Intel Optane

To increase the performance of the SSD, Intel has developed Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage. Conceived originally as a Datacenter technology, Intel has created a single drive device that combines Optane memory and their high-speed SSD (QLC NAND) technology. 

Products based on Intel’s Optane technology represent a different approach to the traditional SSD. A unique characteristic of Optane is that the memory is significantly faster than that used in current NAND SSD drives. Unlike DRAM or main system memory, Optane is Non-volatile which means data written to it will remain even after the PC re-starts. 

Despite the Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage solution consisting of both an Optane and NAND SSD memory the user only sees a single HDD. Behind the scenes Intel have an intelligent memory controller and their Rapid Storage Technology driver which is where the workload optimisation takes place. The drive constantly monitors how the user works on a daily basis – which applications are used most, or data is accessed most frequently. These common tasks are then moved dynamically into the higher performing and optimised Optane memory. 

What are the benefits of Intel Optane?

Users are rarely working with only one application at a time so demand systems that can cope with their multi-tasking needs. Even those users that may not think they are multi-tasking with applications typically are due to the increased number of background tasks being run. User experience remains a challenge, and this is where Intel Optane can help by providing: 

  • Improved performance – A more responsive PC that reduces time spent waiting for thing to happen.
  • Security – Support for industry standard encryption, including secure erase. 
  • Ease of use – Despite there being two components, the user and IT support will only see a single storage device.

By utilising Intel Optane, organisations can continue to benefit from today’s demanding applications whilst allowing users to get more work done faster, improving both productivity and user experience.

Intel Optane in Action

Adding more system DRAM memory to a PC has long been the popular choice in attempting to increase its responsiveness, but with Intel’s claims of roughly 2x performance increase over a standard SSD, an Optane enabled SSDs could offer a better option for increasing performance and ultimately the user experience.

The graph below highlights the potential performance gains of Intel Optane when considered as an alternative approach to doubling up on system memory.   

Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage options is currently available in the following capacities – 

  • 256GB SSD featuring 16GB of Optane memory
  • 512GB SSD featuring 32GB of Optane memory
  • 1TB SSD featuring 32GB of Optane memory

What’s next for Intel Optane?

The leading PC manufacturers are already including Intel Optane storage options and configurations on the majority of their latest commercial products.

If you are looking to add additional DRAM in the hope of increasing PC responsiveness and performance, talk to us about how you can test the Optane technology for yourself as it is likely to deliver an improved end user experience… and who doesn’t like happy users.