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Peter Proud: Invest in Tomorrow’s Talent with Graduate Apprenticeships

Peter Proud

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Peter Proud

Peter Proud, CEO of Edinburgh-based software firm Cortex Worldwide, discusses graduate apprenticeships and cultivating young tech talent. 

Inspiration, aspiration, education and opportunity are, in my opinion, four of the most important words in a healthy and successful economy.

It is our job as business leaders to inspire the following generations to aspire to succeed in all aspects of their lives – and the first step of this journey is education.

Education to me is not just about a place but a thing that should be with you all your life. Being able to remember and regurgitate facts is becoming less relevant in modern society and the 21st-century workplace.

There is not a fact, equation, piece of music, film clip, or piece of trivia that cannot be found in a matter of seconds with a couple of clicks in a browser.

What is now fundamental is the ability to find information, verify that information, listen and communicate, be a valuable team member, inspire, and ultimately maximise your ability to succeed at any challenge presented to you to the best of your ability with the resources available to you.

I am not a Manchester United fan, and I never have been, but one of my heroes is Sir Alex Ferguson. He is arguably the most successful football manager ever. He embraced the history of the club and focused on the development of talented youth.

On October 30, 1937, Manchester United’s academy apprentices Tom Manley and Jackie Walsall played against Fulham in a 1-0 defeat. When Marcus Rashford walked onto the pitch to play against Everton 82 years later, the game marked 4,000 consecutive games with an academy player playing in the first-team squad.

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What is important about this story with regards to apprenticeships in 2020?

It is that the most successful team in British football built its success on investing in the education and training of talented youth players, inspiring them to succeed and giving them the opportunity to flourish.

Five years ago, we started the Cortex Worldwide apprenticeship scheme and, without a doubt, it is the second-best thing we have done other than starting the company. We have embraced the spirit of Manchester United and invested in talented youth.

Today, we embarked on a mission to find four new apprentices to invest in and to complement the eight apprentices we already have.

At present, we have former soldiers, university drop-outs and young adults for whom university was an unattainable thing and who are all now smashing their exams and – in many cases – outperforming their peers in full-time education. They are all advancing their careers, buying flats, and are on a journey they did not previously think was attainable for them.

One staff member, Monica, is a prime example. She had dropped out of university, was sweeping the aisles of a cinema and had a dream of being a software engineer.

A Graduate Apprenticeship gave her access to a great education, left her without cumbersome student debts and, in her own words, “gives you an advantage over people who go down the traditional university route”.

I would recommend anyone with an HND in web development, or another software-related HND, to get in touch with us.

Cortex Worldwide

To get in touch with Cortex Worldwide and enquire about career opportunities, contact: careers@cortexww.com

Peter Proud

CEO, Cortex Worldwide

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