Craig Blenkiron – Level 3 Infrastructure Technician Standard

Previous education before apprenticeship:
Darlington College, Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT – Application Development


Where did you work as an apprentice?
SJOG (Saint John of God) Hospitaller Services Service, Lingfield Point, Darlington.


What do you enjoy about the apprenticeship?

I enjoyed the more hands-on elements of my job role, I have to travel to work sites for configuring and setting up small networks as well as installing new equipment which allows me to get more experience and understanding of how networks and systems are organised that wouldn’t be available if my role was entirely office based.


What did you achieve / learn during the apprenticeship provided Darlington College?

I completed with a Distinction, collected industry certification and badges for:

  • Business Processes
  • Software Development Fundamentals
  • Cloud Services
  • Security Fundamentals
  • Mobility and Device Fundamentals

Also, during my apprenticeship I was given the opportunity to undertake many other complementary to IT Support courses, certificates and badges including Linux Essentials and Cybersecurity Essentials.


What are you career aspirations?

To work in the industry in the IT support team, I want to gain experience and knowledge and progress into a post such as Network Support Engineer.


Your next step after the apprenticeship is to….

I hope that I will progress within the organisation and onto the level 4 Network Engineer apprenticeship or a SharePoint Engineer within the SJOG.


How did the apprenticeship prepare you for your next step?

It has taught me the importance of supporting the business and the many remote sites, especially when interacting with all levels of staff to solve their problems while I was from working on the remote help desk. I also had the opportunity to put the networking and support skills learnt to good use visiting sites to install equipment, or resolve issues. I think working from home during the pandemic I gained resilience and I used the knowledge, skills and behaviours gained from the apprenticeship to support my colleagues and this has helped me focus on my next steps in the IT support industry.


What did you really like?

The apprenticeship course gave a more practical approach in learning, I was able to build small LANs developing my hands on skills with real Cisco routers and switches, this made the apprenticeship real through practical activities. The support from tutor was always there if I was uncertain about any of the topics within the modules or the apprenticeship.

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