Former IT apprentice Jake Parker is delighted after becoming a first line analyst and taking delivery of a high tech wheel chair worth several thousand pounds after his employer and their training partner joined forces to help make it happen.
Jake, pictured with Chris Wagg and Luke Glennister who also graduated into service desk roles, has a rare condition called congenital myopathy that means he has to plan his days very carefully or risk subjecting himself to agonising bone breaks that could result in being house bound for weeks. He’s also physically weaker so cannot walk unaided too far without tiring.
Jake, said: “I worked hard to get on to the IT apprenticeship programme delivered by Baltic Training Services here at Computacenter in Milton Keynes. And now after successfully completing my year-long apprenticeship I’ve been given a fantastic career opportunity for which I am very grateful."
The 19-year-old now works for Europe’s leading IT infrastructure service provider Computacenter and was recruited through his employer’s apprenticeship training provider Baltic Training Services, a programme they deliver on site in Milton Keynes. It’s a programme that has sourced more than 60 young people into full time employment at Computacenter following their apprenticeship; with a further 24 IT apprentices sought for the next intake in April.
He said: “What I really wasn’t expecting was the amazing support I’ve received both in terms of encouragement and advice from my colleagues, employer and my trainers but also in terms of financial assistance resulting in the new wheel chair. The wheel chair and my new role as first line analyst have literally changed my life for the better, forever.”
Two years ago his parents, who also have a daughter with the condition, converted the garage into his bedroom for practical ease. But after researching the topic thoroughly Jake discovered the wheel chair upgrade he needed would cost at least £3,500; an upgrade that would not be available through the NHS.
“Although I was very grateful to the NHS who provided it, my previous wheel chair was heavy and the wheels were constantly going flat; the new wheel chair is very light with Kevlar lined tires and means I’m much more mobile. Once I’ve passed my driving test I’ll hopefully be able to go out on my own – it’s great!
“The chair cost a lot of money and I would simply not have been able to afford it without the help, advice and financial assistance I’ve received from Baltic Training Services and Computacenter.
“I missed three years of school due to a broken leg and at one stage I had to wear calipers which were very painful and restrictive on my legs. Together with my immediate family, many people have helped me on the way at Hazeley Academy, Connexions Milton Keynes and now Computacenter and Baltic Training Services.
“When you carry a condition like this you have to plan everything, even something as simple as making a cup of tea needs to be carefully considered. Thanks to my new career and my new wheel chair I’m finally becoming much more self-reliant and independent.”
Louise Fletcher, global operations manager at Computacenter, said: “We are delighted that Jake has demonstrated such remarkable qualities of determination to succeed on our rigorous apprenticeship programme, graduating toward the end of last year and becoming an invaluable member of our team.
“We have a close working relationship with Baltic Training Services which has resulted in us working together to create an excellent apprenticeship feeder system. It provides us with a regular supply of appropriately qualified and highly motivated individuals who are immediately able to start work when they’ve completed the programme, of whom Jake is one.”
Jake now offers IT service desk solutions nationwide to huge blue chip clients. As a result of the on-site IT apprenticeship he has developed skills such as the ability to handle first line technical problems and has passed vocational training modules such as Microsoft certification, various operating systems, IT networking and as a result of shadowing the Computacenter IT service desk he’s acquired good experience of the customer service side.
“Working closely with our apprenticeship partner Baltic Training Services Jake has also been rewarded with invaluable financial support toward his new wheel chair, a chance he earned by putting himself in a great position on our apprenticeship recruitment programme, succeeding despite having to deal with a lot more than most.”
Cheryl Hancock Baltic Training’s account manager based on site at Computacenter in Milton Keynes said: “When you consider the obstacles Jake has had to face during the course of his life we were only too glad to help. As a business we were able to immediately direct money available as part of our corporate social responsibility fund and partly through a well-attended staff Fun Day.”
Anyone looking to apply for apprenticeships at Computacenter or wanting to find out more about apprenticeships and IT training courses in general should call 01325 5731065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.baltictraining.com
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