Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week

Category: Articles
Thursday 9th February 2023
Olivia Riley Blog
by: Olivia Riley

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of apprentices around the country and the positive impact they make to businesses. In honour of this special week, we’re spotlighting just a few of the 7 apprentices at PebblePad to see what they love most about their apprenticeships.

Christa Bridges

Christa Bridges is an Apprentice Application Developer who has been with PebblePad since July 2020 and is in her 3rd year. As part of NAW, Christa is talking live with the ASK: Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge in schools programme. Let’s find out what Christa’s experience has been like so far with her apprenticeship.


What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?

I love the range of opportunities that you can get stuck into! When I was in college 3 years ago, I could never have imagined the range of opportunities I’ve been able to have at work, university, and in the community. 

Last year I was asked to speak at a customer event, I attended virtual conferences via university and became apprentice ambassador. This involved sharing my experiences with students who are in the same position I was in just a few years ago.

It’s incredible how much you can learn and grow from the opportunities you can get from studying and working.


What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship?

Seriously consider it! Apprenticeships need a lot of hard work and dedication, but the outcomes are so worth it. It’s an amazing opportunity to get experience, make a difference to people and get a qualification at the same time. 

You see how what you’ve learnt then gets applied, which isn’t always something you get in education alone. It’s an experience I would strongly recommend.


What’s your favourite thing about working at PebblePad as an apprentice?

My favourite thing is the people at PebblePad. You spend most of your time with people and it has a huge impact on how you feel during the day. I’m delighted to say that I get to work with the most amazing people.

I always look forward to seeing them every day and we have lots of laughs together. They’re always helping and encouraging me to grow. It feels like the best environment to be in, especially at the start of my career.


Tej Sohi

Next up is Tej Sohi who joined the team in 2019 and is also an Apprentice Application Developer. Let’s see how an apprenticeship has helped Tej gain valuable skills and how he’s finding his 4th and final year.


What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?

The thing I enjoy most as an apprentice is the opportunity to both work in industry and gain a degree at the same time. You gain so much knowledge from the organisation you work for but also learn about the history of the industry through the academics. 

I love learning new things that are happening in the industry and then having the opportunity to put them into practice, I think it’s a great way to learn. 

What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship?

It’s the best choice you can make. Organisations nowadays tend to look at experience over qualifications and what better experience can you get than working in the industry you want to be working in. 

You still get your degree qualification, so you don’t completely miss out on the university experience. One part of the university experience you won’t mind missing out on is the debt; instead, you’re getting paid – what’s not to love about that?

The experience you get from working alongside formal learning sets you up for the rest of your career. If you were to compare a new graduate straight from university and an apprentice, both going for the same job vacancy, I believe the organisation would be more inclined to pick the student that has 4 years industry experience.

What’s your favourite thing about working at PebblePad as an apprentice?

The culture. Everything about the culture at PebblePad is great. We have summer BBQs, Christmas parties, movies nights and trivia nights. Everyone is super friendly and wants to learn and teach each other. The no blame culture is a great way for the entire team to learn from their mistakes. 

Learning industry standards from hugely experienced developers with the technology I get to work on every day has boosted my learning in a way I couldn’t have imagined, had I gone to university instead.


John Mason

Finally, we hear from John Mason, another Apprentice Application Developer. John is in his 3rd year at PebblePad and shares his favourite part of the apprenticeship.


What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?

Being able to work with fellow developers who are highly skilled is a real privilege and something I value a lot as it helps me develop so much quicker than just sitting in a classroom.  

Working with the PebblePad team allows me to ask any questions, with no question being too silly to ask. The culture of the company makes me want to come to work each day. 


What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship?

I’d say jump at the opportunity. It’s the best thing I’ve done for my personal development.


What’s your favourite thing about working at PebblePad as an apprentice?

The best thing has got to be the perfect balance between learning and workplace experience I gain.  

I get to earn my degree with no debt. By working at PebblePad, it has accelerated my learning tenfold, and I wouldn’t be progressing as much right now had I just gone to university. 

In addition to the learning, the company culture and environment are the best. Plus the summer BBQ’s are great fun! 


To Summarise

Our apprentices are clearly enjoying the ability to combine on-the-job learning with formal studies. And for the wider team at PebblePad, we’ve been blessed with an amazing group of keen and talented apprentices who bring energy, fresh ideas and a willingness to question and learn.

Since it’s our view that students who are encouraged to extract all they can from each and every step of their learning journey are the ones most likely to succeed, it’s only fitting that we provide those opportunities within our own company.

And for many of our university customers, PebblePad’s Learning Journey Platform helps apprentices learn through experience, while being fully supported by internal and external stakeholders.

We’re proud to be celebrating the wonderful world of apprenticeships and authentic learning and assessment – here’s to a happy and successful year for all those working towards their degree via apprenticeships.

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Olivia Riley

Olivia is the Digital B2B Marketing Manager here at PebblePad. An experienced marketer, Olivia spends her days creating campaign assets, managing social, the website and supporting teams across the company.

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