Business IT specialists Bellingham IT have joined forces with Wakefield College to offer students an insight into the world of an IT service provider.
The Wakefield business has signed up to the college’s work placement programme and is offering students studying the two-year Level Three BTEC Diploma in Computing an initial four to six-week placement, with the option of continuing with the placement in three-month blocks.
The students spend a day a week at Bellingham IT’s offices and are involved in monitoring clients’ devices using third party monitoring software, highlighting any issues and investigating possible resolutions.
“The placements are designed to give students some experience of the work place and an understanding of what’s required of an IT support technician while also enabling us to provide a proactive service to our clients,” said Bellingham IT’s MD Paul Heigham.
“After the initial four to six-week placement, if they want to stay with us, there is the option to continue in three month blocks to gain greater experience. If they decide against this they still have received an insight into what IT support is about and will know to focus more on other aspects of IT which might suit them better.”
So far two of Wakefield College’s students have taken up placements with Bellingham IT. Both Joe Moore who is in the first year of his course and second year student Luke Crossland have completed the initial placement with Luke opting to continue.
“The continued placement gives us the opportunity to showcase more of the IT support technician’s role and introduce them to other areas as part of a broader induction programme. It gives us both the chance to get to know each other and to gauge whether an apprenticeship would be mutually beneficial once the student has finished at college,” said Paul.
All Wakefield College students are required to complete at least 36 hours of work placement in an area relevant to the course that they are studying.
“Work placements enable students to develop their employability skills, introducing them to the vocational area they are studying towards and challenging their academic skills through the opportunity to apply them in a real work environment. In addition, placements enhance CVs, strengthen students’ personal and social development and are also ideal for employers looking to use them as part of their apprenticeship recruitment” explained Wakefield College’s Work Placement Officer Helen Law.
“Wakefield College values the partnership created with Bellingham IT and is proud to work alongside a reputable business in the local area. Partnerships like this are key to student success in a competitive job market and we are committed to creating links that are of value to our students studying a variety of vocational and academic courses.”
Paul said he was pleased to be supporting the college’s work placement programme. “It can be hard for young people leaving college to find their way and get a foot on the career ladder. Quite a big part of my business is bringing on youngsters and giving them opportunities like this,” he commented.