We've been chatting to Kai, the newest addition to the Transcendit team at Gateshead. Kai started working with us as a web development apprentice in October, so we caught up with him to find out how the last two months have been.
'It was a very quiet first few days, it's way less hectic than working in retail - it's much more relaxed,' says Kai on starting work with Transcendit. 'At first I was just practicing working on Ruby, Java, CSS and HTML, and I was doing that on Codecademy.'
'It was the first practical stuff I've done, I did some basic stuff at home but I'd never even heard of Ruby before I started. It's a lot of trial and error, and a lot of repetition - you've got to do it over and over again to get it to stick. It's definitely getting easier, and it's easy to talk to the guys here about stuff you're working on.'
Next year, Transcendit are sending Kai on a programming course. Director Adam Kuznesof says, 'When we take on an apprentice, we commit to developing that individual's skills. The QA course in London is ideal for preparing Kai for the sort of work that we do at Transcendit. It's going to provide him with the foundation he needs to progress in web development.'
Kai is keen to get started, 'I can't wait to start my college course - I've never been to London before. I'm going to be there for two weeks in February, and then two weeks in March.By February 2020 I'll have gained a BTEC Level 3 in Java. Eventually, I want to get a degree in IT.'
Kai is pleased that he took the apprenticeship route, rather than going to university, 'In my group of friends its a massive mix; half of them went to university, and those that didn't got entry-level work. I thought I was going to go to uni, but then when my brother started doing something vocational, that seemed like a better option for me too. I wanted to be learning on the job rather than in a classroom.'
'I like apprenticeships - a lot of people prefer experience rather than qualifications, and with apprenticeships you get both.'
Kai is also keen to travel once he's got his qualifications, 'I'd like to visit places like Australia, New Zealand and Lapland. The skills that I'm learning and the languages - you can do so much with them, it goes way beyond web development. I'm keen to learn as much as I can here, and get really comfortable with the languages and work on some real projects for customers with some of the web development team.'
Where does he see himself a year from now? 'By this time next year, I really want to have worked on a project for a customer on my own, or at least with as little help as possible. I want to have the confidence and the skills to be able to do this independently. I think by next year I'll have got there.'
Tweet us @TranscenditUK