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Apprentice Employer of the Month | December 2020

Staff Writer

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Apprentice

Stuart Glen, Service Delivery Lead gives us an insight into apprenticeships with Accenture.

Accenture currently has 15 Graduate Apprentice Software Developers employed in Scotland. The first cohort began in 2018 and will be graduating next year.

Although all apprentices are studying software development, Accenture urge everyone to explore different areas of work. Apprentices get to experience several different roles, from robotics to project management and consultancy to name a few.

Stuart Glen, Service Delivery Lead gives us an insight into apprenticeships with Accenture: “Traditionally, software roles have been targeted towards university graduates, but organisations need to realise that this isn’t the route all young people are taking. In the past 15-20 years, the way we work has changed, and the way we employ young people needs to change too.

“An apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity to build skills while learning on the job. It gives people the opportunity to build a path to a career without having to go to university first. You get the chance to see exactly what it’s like to work, first-hand.

“For us, apprenticeships have really broadened our talent pool. We receive applications from young people of all backgrounds, meaning there’s a more competitive skills base and diversity of talent.

“Our apprentices are integral to our business. They get involved in real life projects and we make sure to support them every step of the way. We offer learning and training opportunities as we do all our staff. We also run events where apprentices have access to senior management, making sure we provide them with the best environment possible, to grow their individual skills.

Accenture is a global organisation which works with advanced technologies and data analytics across a variety of industries. The apprentices are at the heart of it all.

Stuart said: “One of our apprentices recently worked on a particular challenge faced by banks in respect to a savings product.  If the product matured over the weekend, several manual actions needed to be taken, which was very inefficient. The apprentice was able to work out a way to automate the task reducing the level of manual involvement, by using robotic process automation.

“This particular task went from 450 hours of manual work over the weekend, to having a computer complete it before 10am on the Saturday morning!

“Another apprentice worked on a loan scheme as part of a COVID-19 response strategy. Over 20,000 applications were required to be analysed by a team of three. With each application taking 40 minutes to assess, customers would have to wait too long to know if they had been successful or not. Our apprentice was able to deploy robotic process automation to reduce the assessment time dramatically.

“Because our apprentices are involved in so many different projects, there’s a really good chance of them progressing their career with us. Our Scottish apprentices haven’t yet graduated, but we have seen apprentices elsewhere in the UK being double or triple promoted with some even making their way to management level as an associate manager.

“An apprenticeship is a great way to start your career as an individual, but there’s loads of bonuses for employers too. Apprenticeships have opened us up to talent we would never have had access to previously. It’s given us the ability to hire some great individuals that we may never have had the opportunity to meet if we were waiting for them to finish a university degree first.”

“Everyone should consider taking on an apprentice, but it’s really important to make sure you provide the right, dedicated support and ensure that your team are liaising with the training provider. You need to keep in close contact to make sure you’re creating the best opportunities for your apprentices.”

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