Software Engineering Apprenticeships

Tuesday 19 July 2016 | Category: Apprenticeships Technology

Koios Technology recently saw its latest two apprentices pass their Level 3 Software Apprenticeships. The company has long recognised and valued the apprentice approach and its natural place in the skills development of your software engineers.

Companies like Koios offer a fertile learning environment for those developers who feel that university and the rigor of academia isn’t the best starting point for them and their careers.

Adam Soulsby and Will Chambers joined Koios in 2015 as Apprentice Software Engineers as part of a training scheme run by Baltic Training – Level 3 Software Development.

In the early stages both Adam and Will developed quickly but then began to diverge from the common path to become different flavours of software engineer. Will began to show a more fundamental grasp of data base development and administration and Adam started to show his abilities to understand and create usable front ends for web based systems. It is common for young developers to lean towards a certain part of the programming spectrum and begin to be more expert in a particular area.

As their capabilities developed; Adam and Will formed the basis of a team that would develop a sophisticated business intelligence tool for the Koios Technology. That tool is now complete and in its final test stage. Once deployed the whole group will use that tool on a daily basis – our apprentices will have transformed daily operations with software they had delivered.

What are the real benefits of software apprenticeships?

For apprentices:

Funded Learning                        Most apprenticeships are now fully funded meaning no student debt
Earn while Learning                   Apprentices earn a small salary while they are on the apprenticeship
Flexible Learning                        The apprentice can change pace or angle to their learning as the syllabus isn’t fixed
Supported Learning                   Apprentices are guided by experienced professional practitioners
Genuine Experience                   Apprentices work on live projects with real code and clients

For software development companies:

Employee Pipeline                      Apprentices becoming full time staff is a secure pipeline of talent
Bespoke Employees                   Companies have the opportunity to shape apprentices in terms of skills
Funding                                       Government assistance for training takes the financial hit away
Cohesion                                     Training in the workplace minimises disruption and maximises benefits
Costs                                           Training an apprentice is financially more sustainable than recruitment fees

Towards the end of the Level 3 apprenticeship year for Adam and Will the company took the decision to keep Will in place in the main SGP development team but felt that Adam’s skills were not going to be improved by him remaining.

The company entered into discussions with some its suppliers and partner organisations and Adam moved to ALN Technologies in Newcastle upon Tyne in July 2016.

Dave Sharp – Koios Technology  Chief Technology Officer said:

“It was a tough decision to let Adam move on from SGP but we felt he would thrive in a web development team and it isn’t what Koios does. ALN technologies is a great web team and were happy to take Adam onto the next stage of his development”

Will Chambers – Koios Technology Apprentice Software Engineer concluded:

“The first year here as an apprentice has been tough but I was overjoyed with the news I would be staying on and continuing with the company. The apprenticeship was definitely the right choice for me and I would recommend it, especially with a company like SGP.”

Adam Soulsby – ALN Technologies Junior Developer added:

“The apprenticeship experience at Koios made the move to ALN Technologies very easy. The practical experience and the mentoring I’ve had from experienced developers means that moving to a new company to continue my learning was not a worry, its worked out for me very well.”

With the skills shortage in general in the IT sector and high recruitment fees the apprenticeship system is something that every technology company should consider. Outside of the stated benefits above, the corporate social responsibility benefits are huge with many companies now focused on feeding back into their local communities. Not every young person benefits from higher education, for many further education is where they naturally peak, the modern approach to apprenticeships are that vital link into the work place.

If you would like to know more about our experiences of training apprentices or our internal coding school called Code Academy, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch at or check out the group website at

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