Meet tomorrow's IT experts

Apprentices Khadeeja and Deep

At Port-P we truly believe in the value of apprenticeships. They’re a fantastic way to nurture and develop young talent by combining real life work experience with theoretical learning.

In fact, Port-P wouldn't exist without apprenticeships, as our founder and joint managing director, Mark Paget, began his career on a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) 34 years ago!

Mark describes his first years' YTS responsibilities as “not much more than folding engineering drawings for 30 hours per week, collecting the team’s lunches and travelling 90 minutes each way by bus to get to the office, all for the grand sum of £37 per week!”. However, he did eventually graduate with a first-class honours degree.

It was Mark’s YTS experience that defined the Port-P Apprenticeship Scheme, as Mark knew that despite being young, apprentices can provide huge amounts of value to a business if their talent is correctly developed. As a result, every Port-P apprentice is not only invested in over a two or three year period to develop a solid foundation of learning, but more importantly is challenged to release their full potential by becoming immersed in our team and involved in key business projects from day one.

But don’t just take our word for it. Read on to hear the stories of our IT experts of the future; technical support apprentices Khadeeja Kubra and Deep Johal.

Khadeeja Kubra

My interest in IT originally stemmed from curiosity after I saw some flashing lights in a secretive looking room at school. I later found out this was my school’s server room, and the more I learnt about IT, my interest developed into a passion which grew and grew. 

Since joining Port-P as an IT apprentice my knowledge has progressed rapidly! As well as my day-to-day job (providing support to our sales and customer service teams), I’ve been given many amazing opportunities to work on important business projects.

After two months with Port-P, my fellow apprentice Deep and I were asked to help develop tools to promote our Office 365 migration services. Working alongside the marketing and technical teams we created a video which I featured in! Although I was nervous as this was something that would be used to represent Port-P, it really forced me into pushing myself and showing what I could do. After putting my nerves to the side, I had a lot of fun helping to create the video and this positive experience boosted my confidence and helped me with many other projects further down the line. 

I also helped to lead the process of recruiting three new Port-P apprentices; from advertising the role and selecting the interviewees, to running the first round of interviews and choosing the candidates that were to meet our Managing Director. I felt honoured to be asked to take such a big part in this task and was determined to do well, as Port-P put a lot of trust in me to find candidates that had the potential of bringing great things to the business. It was also quite surreal as not long ago I was in the same position as our new apprentices!

Before I joined Port-P I never imagined I would achieve so much and be given so many responsibilities in such a short amount of time. These experiences have allowed me to grow from a ‘shy, quiet girl’ to becoming much more confident in my abilities.

This has all been possible thanks to the Port-P team – they’ve all been extremely supportive, and I’ve learnt different skills from each of them. I love my job and the people I work with and couldn’t have asked for a better environment to work in!

Deep Johal

I’ve always wanted a career in the IT industry as I wanted to make my mark in a sector that constantly grows and adapts to offer solutions for the challenges businesses face. I decided an IT apprenticeship was the best route for me as I already had a lot of practical experience that I thought would be suited to a hands-on working environment.  

When I started at Port-P, I was pleased to be challenged with projects from the get go. However, I was also a bit surprised that Port-P were getting me to do ‘real’ work so quickly!

The first main project I was tasked with was researching Office 365 and implementing it into our environment. This was quite daunting at first, as I had no prior knowledge surrounding Office 365(!) so I started by fully researching every detail I could on Office 365. During my research I found that none of the migration plans Microsoft suggested were compatible with Port-P’s environment, so I had to dig deeper for alternative methods, which was a huge challenge!

Luckily these challenges proved to be very valuable as I have since taken an active role in Port-365 (our Office 365 migration service), and have used my new knowledge and skills when investigating and implementing migration solutions for our customers.

As a result of my experience, I’ve also been trusted to provide on-site Exchange and Office 365 migration support to key customers in London and Nottingham. It makes me feel both proud and happy that I’ve been trusted to represent the company on such important projects in the first year of my apprenticeship.

During my journey the Port-P team have been extremely accommodating - helping me get settled, ensuring I manage my workflow and apprenticeship work efficiently, giving me opportunities to display my individuality and skills and treating me like a part of the team from the beginning!

One year in and I feel like I’ve learnt a huge amount, but I’m also still learning. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next year with Port-P takes me.

Having Khadeeja and Deep working with us has added a completely new dimension to the Port-P team. They’ve brought fresh perspective and ideas to the business that have challenged our historic ways of doing things. Such is our level of trust in their abilities, we’ve given them live projects to manage which they’ve not only delivered, they’ve completely excelled in. I’m eager to watch them continue to grow and develop and see what they achieve next.
— Mark Paget, founder and joint managing director

Port-P are proud to support National Apprenticeship Week 2018