National Apprenticeship Week 2023: developing skills for life

| minute read

Monday 6 th  February marked the start of National Apprenticeship Week, an annual celebration of apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on society and the economy. The focus of this year's theme, ‘Skills for Life’, is on how apprenticeships can assist people in acquiring the abilities and information necessary for fulfilling careers.  

In October 2022, Sopra Steria opened its doors with the view of identifying the next generation of talent by inviting candidates to attend its Level 4 apprenticeship day in Cheltenham. The Level 4 apprenticeship is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree, or a Higher National Certificate (HNC) and provided Sopra Steria with an opportunity to choose from the brightest and most dedicated jobseekers. In return the candidates gain a recognised qualification, real world experience and an opportunity to work alongside skilled professionals in an environment that is progressive and inclusive.   

The apprenticeship candidates participated in group sessions and learned about Sopra Steria Secure Services, listened as Cyber, DevOps and Software Testing SMEs spoke about their areas of expertise and had the opportunity to ask general questions about the wider organisation. The candidates also met our apprenticeship training partners during which they were able to find out more about the apprenticeship they applied for. At Sopra Steria, we currently have 10 apprentices from the 2022 cohort aged 18 - 34, 4 doing the Cyber Apprenticeship, 3 in DevOps and 3 in Software.   

At Sopra Steria, we understand that many job seekers face rejection due to a lack of experience. That's why apprenticeships play an important role in bridging the gap between employment and education. We look beyond gender, race, or social background and place the development of potential talent at the heart of everything we do. By tapping into a demographic that is passionate, committed with a desire to be successful, and by developing that potential, we enable individuals to flourish personally and professionally. In return, individuals are rewarded with a recognised qualification in a sector that is constantly moving, they learn real world knowledge, skills, and behaviours…and get paid! This enables Sopra Steria to create a continuous pipeline of talent while realising financial benefits to the individual and local economy.  

We are committed to help our apprentices be better professionals , enabling them to best support our teams. Our values - respect, excellence, empathy, and community  are always at the forefront of our selection criteria . W e recognise that work is where everyone spends are large proportion of their time and we understand its essential that people we work with have a sense of purpose and are valued for the work they do , and that they are supported in their career journey, both professionally and personally

Read about Dan’s experience as an apprentice 

Why did you choose to do the apprenticeship? 

After not receiving the grades I was hoping for at A Level, I sat myself down and contemplated what I actually wanted to do in terms of career. I knew I wanted to be a part of the Tech Industry and I had a passion for all things IT, so I started building up my CV and looking for IT Apprenticeships. I came across an advert for a L4 Network Engineering Apprenticeship at Sopra Steria, thought I’d give it a go and applied for it. The rest is history!  

What was your Qualification? 

L4 Network Engineer 

What is your job role now? 

Infrastructure Engineer – Looking to transfer to a DevOps Engineer. 

Why did you choose to be a mentor for the next cohort? 

I’m very passionate about what apprenticeships can offer individuals early in their career. Having been through it myself, I wanted to provide the same level of experience I had for the next cohort, allowing them to fully flourish in their chosen career paths. I’m hopeful that some of my past experiences, both from a technical and apprenticeship administration side, will be of great use to them.  

Four apprentices standing at the front of the room giving a presentation

“I became a cyber security apprentice at Sopra Steria as I wanted to gain more knowledge on cyber security and be able to apply that knowledge I have gained in the workspace. Before I was doing level 3 college course which was good, but I wanted to use the skills I learnt and apply it in an actual working environment so I can better understand it”, Eli

“The apprenticeship with Sopra Steria was sold to me on the assessment day. Meeting the people and hearing about the company ticked all the boxes in what I was looking for in a company to be a part of until retirement. I had another interview on the same day of which I was offered the job shortly after and turned down to join Sopra Steria. The apprenticeship program not only integrates me into a fantastic company but offers me a path to learn the skills to become successful in my field of Software Testing.”, Ian

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