Apprentice of the Month: Iza Ledzka, Swarm Online
Welcome to the monthly column from Skills Development Scotland, designed to highlight the benefit of apprenticeships for those in the tech sector (and beyond).
According to graduate apprentice Iza Ledzka, if it wasn’t for the apprenticeship programme, she would still be working in retail to help her save to study for a career in tech. But, instead, after joining Swarm Online less than a year ago, she now earns a salary while she learns, and has gained valuable experience working on a range of app and web projects, which would never have happened through study alone.
“I attend University two days a week, but also work, and I am being paid full time wages while studying,” she enthused. “As well as getting paid while I learn, I also don’t have to worry about paying back student fees after graduating, and I’m already in the industry which means it will be easier for me to get a job after I’m fully qualified.”
Ledzka added: “At University I learn the fundamentals of computing science and software development, following pretty much the same modules as the full-time students. Expect I also work in the industry, which means I feel I learn more, and at a faster pace, and I learn more up to date and ‘on trend’ developments.”
Ledzka and Swarm Online received a visit from Scotland’s Digital Economy Minister, Kate Forbes, during last month’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
The Minister said at the time: “It’s refreshing to meet a female graduate apprentice like Iza who is making her mark in a traditionally male dominated. As there are nearly 13,000 digital and tech jobs that go unfilled every year in Scotland, a focus on diversity and inclusion is vital to plug that skills gap.
“Scotland’s apprenticeship family of offerings ensures we nurture the right talent, both in terms of professional skills and supporting our drive to promote equality in Scotland.”
As part of that visit, Swarm Online MD Simon Mone told Forbes that he would recommend any company takes on an apprentice. “It’s been a fantastic addition to our capabilities,” he said. “Iza has worked on a number of projects for us and we have been hugely impressed with her knowledge and enthusiasm since coming here.”
Mone added: “I would actively encourage other businesses to provide training opportunities like this as both the company and the apprentice both benefit from it.”
For further information about how work-based learning could help you, your staff or your business visit Apprenticeships.Scot. For further information about digital skills and careers, visit Digital World.