Developing skills for the future: our apprentice is both learning and helping to deliver services to customers

Belfast, 23 October, 2015: When we ask our customers what makes Sopra Steria different? They tell us it’s the way we work collaboratively. Put simply, people are at the heart of our organisation and the key to these successful working partnerships. Apprentices and graduates are providing new potential for our organisation and here we focus on how Northern Ireland apprentice Keith Heggarty is both learning and helping to deliver services to our customers.

As a successful and growing organisation Sopra Steria understands the importance of not just retaining but also attracting new employees. Sopra Steria's Apprentice & Graduate Programme Manager confirms that these apprentices and graduates are an essential element of our people strategy: “Through our apprentice and graduate programmes we are looking to bring youth and talent into the business to support our strategic growth from the bottom up. We look for innovation, energy and commitment and in return we provide training and support to achieve industry recognised qualifications. The motivated and dynamic apprentices and graduates who join us today could easily develop into the business and technical leaders of tomorrow.”

Since 2012 we have recruited over 70 apprentices and in November 2014 Keith Heggarty joined Sopra Steria’s Northern Ireland office through the Department of Learning’s Public/Private ICT Apprenticeship scheme. As a Junior Infrastructure Engineer he helps support our health contracts in NI for four days a week and is shadowed, trained and mentored by the existing team of engineers and analysts. The fifth day is spent at Belfast Metropolitan College where he studies the infrastructure training path.

Alan Foster, Keith’s manager confirms he is progressing well.

“Keith has completed his first year and is ahead of schedule with his level 2 qualification - this will lead on to level 3 and hopefully level 4. Keith is passionate in his work and his exposure to enterprise systems and customers has really developed his confidence, which continues to grow.”

Keith is very optimistic about the benefits the Apprenticeship Scheme has provided.

“In November 2014 I started with Sopra Steria through the NI apprenticeship scheme. My apprenticeship lasts for two years during which I will complete my Level 2 and 3 IT & Telecoms professional qualification. Since starting my apprenticeship, I have enjoyed being hands on and the challenge of learning new things every day. I am hoping that upon completion I will become an Infrastructure Support Analyst.”

Find out more about our graduate and apprentice programmes.