This national apprenticeship week, an award-winning tech firm is harnessing the power of apprenticeships and expanding its IT Technical Sales programme.
Exponential-e, a leading provider of cloud, data, communications and cyber security solutions, has recently launched its third cohort of apprentices on the IT technical Sales Apprenticeship Programme, supported by Remit Group.
The business has a long tradition of developing new talent through its Sales Academy but with the advent of the Apprentice Levy, saw an opportunity to cultivate a new source of talent.
Chris Yerrill, sales academy and apprenticeship manager, Exponential-e, explains, “We have always run sales academies at Exponential-e, which represented a huge investment to the company each year. But for the last three years we have been using the apprenticeship programme to complement this investment to create a journey for everyone joining the company.
“It was a great idea to work in partnership with Remit Group to develop a programme around the IT Technical Sales Apprenticeship that would allow us as an employer to use the apprenticeship levy and really build the training and support we needed.”
The IT Technical Sales Apprenticeship at Exponential-e runs for 15 months. Apprentices join the sales academy for an initial eight weeks and their theoretical knowledge of cloud computing, voice data, unified communications and security is then fully supported and developed in a practical setting through the Apprenticeship Standard.
The theme of this National Apprenticeship Week is designed to encourage everyone to “Look Beyond” the outdated stereotypes surrounding apprenticeships, and to instead celebrate the diversity and highlight the opportunity and value that they bring to businesses today.
As Chris highlights, Exponential-e ‘looks beyond’ traditional hiring routes, and so unlocks fantastic potential and offers long-term career options within the IT sector to those that otherwise may not have this opportunity.
“Exponential-e has chosen the apprenticeship route to take on and give opportunities to those from any background, without previous sales experience, to allow them to earn and learn and cut a career within IT sales”, he says.
“We look for those that use the programme differently and set out their own career paths. From a business perspective we get to work with raw, fresh talent from any background that we can mould and develop into our business. They embody our business values and we find that we build an incredible amount of employee loyalty.”
One of the knock-on benefits of the apprenticeship programme has been the creation of a robust onboarding programme, which has since been rolled out across the business.
Says Chris, “We are taking a lot of what we have learned through our sales academy to help us identify and fast track those that are ambitious and have the raw drive and desire to develop into the sales function at Exponential-e.”
Such has been the success of the previous apprentice intakes, this latest cohort will be a continuation of a programme that is set to yield real return for some time to come.
“For me, I see apprenticeships as an area of the business that will continue to grow for us”, says Chris.
He adds, “the IT Technical Sales Apprenticeship really does help support, develop and teach the competencies and values we look for. It is a very good commitment, it is a way of getting people into your business you wouldn’t normally attract and get them to become part of your culture ad values and part of your journey to build a world-class organisation.
This really is an exciting time for businesses to consider using apprenticeships to support their recruitment and talent development programmes. Apprenticeships are at the forefront of innovation and technology, helping businesses reap the benefits work-based training can offer.
If you would like to find out what apprenticeships can do for your business contact one of our experts today.