National Apprenticeship Week: From Apprentice to Director

Hi all, david-acland
A slightly different blog this time.  As some of you will know, this week it’s National Apprenticeship Week; a governmental initiative celebrating the positive impact that apprenticeships have on businesses and individuals. So I thought I’d share the path that I took with Amsys; from Apprentice to Director.
My Story
Leaving school, I followed in the family tradition and pursued a career in catering.  This took me from college, to a few different bakeries and onto working in a number of London’s restaurants.
Things were progressing but not quite as I would have liked.  I knew that catering wasn’t a long term option for me and that I needed to change.
I thought back to other things that interested me when I was in school and computers came to mind.  I looked at various training options to help me switch career.  Microsoft were of course at the top of their game, so I looked at studying for a MCSE.
Unfortunately, the price was prohibitive and the studying time without an income really put me off.
Looking through the local newspapers (how we looked for jobs in the olden days) I noticed an apprenticeship being offered with a local company called Amsys.  I went for an interview, which I’d have to say could have been better, but luckily was offered the position.
Life as an Amsys Apprentice
I started working on the Summer 2000 iMacs, learning how to replace logic boards, hard drives, CRTs etc and continued to spend the first year learning how to fix each of the Mac models, PowerMac G4s, Cubes and PowerBook G3s.
While concentrating on the day to day work, I kept an eye on my progression.  There were plenty of chances for training on technical topics and other departments of the business including logistics and call control.  As opportunities came up, I offered to step in, moving into workshop management and gaining a bit of an obsession for processes along the way.
Promoted To Apple Certified Trainer
After a few years with Amsys, we won a contract with Apple to provide certified hardware technical training.  Demand was high, and there was a clear opportunity for me, so I jumped at the chance to become a hardware technical trainer.  Of course, it was intimidating initially but I soon realised I knew what I was talking about when it came to fixing Macs.
The Amsys training portfolio grew, and as it did I picked up more and more technical courses to teach, including Mac OS X Support, Mac OS X Server, and finally getting the chance to each the ACSA courses, Deployment, Directory services integration and specialist courses like XSAN Administration.
Developing Amsys Consultancy Department
After five years of training, I was looking for a change.  We were often being asked by training students whether we would go onsite to help out with server setups and installations.  This seemed like a logical path for Amsys to take so we started taking bookings for technical projects.  This was quite a significant change from the comfort zone of the classroom, and I learnt about project management and integration with all the other technical systems out in the world.
Joining The Amsys Board
To help support our installation projects we started to create a service desk operation.  At the same time, I was lucky enough to be offered a position on the Amsys board.  Things continued to develop, growing our support and projects team to become a significant part of the Amsys business.
Things have continued to progress steadily for Amsys and my career.  We’ve grown considerably, and I’ve been presented with some pretty interesting challenges along the way.
“The Apprenticeship is what gave David his “break” and a good foundation for a career. Ultimately David has been extremely successful because he has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, is never content with the status quo and is constantly trying to improve himself and the processes for which he is responsible.
He is proof that if you are prepared to apply yourself and work hard you will be successful.
The “Amsys Apprenticeship” has launched countless successful careers in the IT industry. Amsys Alumni are now IT Managers, IT Directors, Apple Geniuses, Trainers, Project Managers, Sales Professionals and Entrepreneurs in a wide range of Technology businesses.” Alex Hawes, Amsys MD
If you’re making crucial career choices and think an apprenticeship could be the right path for you, then check out the Government’s apprenticeship website or speak to our team for more information.