Meet our apprentices

Apprentices are the lifeblood of businesses today and Bisley is no exception; we’ve employed and supported apprentices for over 20 years now. To celebrate our apprentices, we met up with some of them to find out more about their life at Bisley.

Today, we speak to Alex Davey. Alex is a second-year IT apprentice who works in our Newport office. He is responsible supporting, monitoring and maintaining workplace technology and responding to employee requests for help with their computers.

Can you give me a summary of what you do?
My job role is very broad. There’s a lot of things that the IT team take care of and it involves a lot of maintenance work. I can be doing anything from helping to fix a connection issue on someone’s computer to a helping resolve a bigger problem, like server issues. In my role, assist with managing our infrastructure, so I set up new PC’s with hardware and software.

What are your main responsibilities?
I’m the first point of contact for the IT team in Newport. I respond to any issues with employee computers. I assess their computer to find the fault and will aim to resolve the situation myself using the skills I have. If I’m unable to help, I will refer it to a more senior member of my team and observe how they overcome it so that I know what to do next time.

How much did you know about IT before you started your apprenticeship?
I already had quite a lot of background knowledge from completing an A level and GCSE in IT. I also taught myself more technical skills in my spare time.

How does this compare to your knowledge about IT now?
I know loads more now about things like networking and infrastructure. I’ve developed my technical knowledge in order to build on what I already knew from the academic courses I previously took. 

How is your team structured?
There’s three people the Newport IT team and I’m the only apprentice in my department so we’re very small! But we get on and work together well, so it’s a great team to be a part of. Myself and one of my other team members are responsible for maintenance while another one of us works in programming, but he teaches me a bit about that side of the business as well.

What surprised you the most about your job?
I was surprised how much goes on behind the scenes. Sometimes people aren’t aware of just how much the IT team does to keep everything running. This involves maintenance and backups for all our servers, all while providing support to everyone with their own computers. My department is very busy, as many people across the business have high expectations of us because they rely on their computers to do their work. As well as keeping the software for our UK team running, we’re also responsible for helping run the servers for our international subsidiaries so we have a lot on our shoulders. 

What’s the most valuable advice you’ve been received?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because it’s good to learn from them.

What’s the most interesting thing that has occurred in your department lately?
The integration into the new Office 365 on all our company computers. It’s really cool to provide people with new software they can use and to sort out  the bugs we’ve had along the way ensure it runs in the best way possible. My team is helping everyone adapt to the new software, so it’s interesting to see how everyone is getting on with it.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
It would have to be problem solving and helping people. It’s always very satisfying to fix a problem a colleague is having with their computer.The small things are just as rewarding as the big things.

What object could you not live without at work?
My monitor is something I rely on heavily because I use it for everything.

How have you grown on a personal level throughout your apprenticeship?
When I first joined, I was reserved and shy and was nowhere near as chatty as I am now. I’ve become more talkative because my job involves interacting with people in different parts of the business every single day and so I’ve got to know almost everyone.

Describe yourself in one word.
Determined.

If you had a time machine, what year would you go back to and why?
Go back? If I had a time machine I’d rather go forward! I’d like to go far into the future, like 100 or 200 years. I’d want to see if we’ve left earth and are living on another planet.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
The ability to freeze time, so that I could have massive lie ins! 

What would you say to people looking to do an apprenticeship in IT?
Go for it! If you want a career in IT, it’s the best way to get established. You get great first hand work experience, one on one tuition and gain loads of skills you wouldn’t be taught at university.