Appointments: New apprentices spearhead skills investment at Gateshead’s Advantex

Advantex Network Solutions Ltd has linked up with City of Sunderland College and New College Durham to train seven new apprentices

www.crestphotography.co.uk New apprentices at Advantex, from left, Vanessa Ash, Conner Richmond, Cameron Smith, Michael Wigham, Kallum Gillis, Louie Harris, Courtney Gibson. Also pictured is Advantex sales and marketing director Stephen OConnell, far right
New apprentices at Advantex, from left, Vanessa Ash, Conner Richmond, Cameron Smith, Michael Wigham, Kallum Gillis, Louie Harris, Courtney Gibson. Also pictured is Advantex sales and marketing director Stephen OConnell, far right

An IT firm is investing further in young apprenticeship talent to meet demand for its services and secure its future workforce needs.

Advantex Network Solutions Ltd has linked up with City of Sunderland College and New College Durham to train seven new apprentices as they work towards gaining their Level 3 vocational qualifications.

The new starters are apprentice sales administrators Michael Wigham, 18, and 17-year-olds Louie Harris, Courtney Gibson and Vanessa Ash. Cameron Smith, 18, and Connor Richmond, 19, join as apprentice engineers while Kallum Gilliss comes in as an apprentice technician.

The move comes as the company is seeing strong demand for its managed IT services from both private and public sector organisations and follows recent appointments to the senior management team.

Advantex employs approximately 50 people at its Follingsby Park head office and is targeting turnover of £5m within the next two years on the back of new business wins and existing organic growth as it brings on board new services and expertise.

Current customers include GE Oil and Gas, the Gambling Commission, SCS, Redcar and Cleveland College and Gateshead College.

The training the youngsters will receive as part of their four-year apprenticeship will see them gain an industry-recognised qualification, which can pave the way for a successful career in the IT, commercial and engineering sectors.

This is the latest initiative by the firm to recruit and develop a trained workforce equipped with the skills to meet future needs. A number of apprentices have already passed through Advantex’s doors on their way to careers with the firm and in the industry.

Sales and marketing director Stephen O’Connell said: “The company is planning for future success, committing itself to adding value through apprentices as part of its plans for ambitious growth and expansion.

“We’re delighted to have Michael, Louie, Courtney, Vanessa, Cameron, Connor and Kallum on board and looking forward to working with the local colleges to deliver the intensive and specialist apprenticeship training they need.”

“We are in the vanguard of the IT sector, delivering innovative, relevant and beneficial training programmes that will guarantee that current and future sector skills’ needs are met and indeed surpassed.”

Apprentice Michael Wigham said: “I’ve already learned a lot in the few weeks that I’ve been with the company. It’s really interesting and it’s definitely where I see my future career going.

“I’m on track for a rewarding and sustainable career that really suits my skills and abilities, while Advantex is a great employer. I look forward to becoming fully qualified.”

Advantex was established in 2002 and achieved the prestigious ISO9001/2000 industry quality mark within its first year of trading. It also holds the IOS9001/2008 mark and is an accredited Microsoft, Cisco and Mitel partner, providing a single-source package which combines to deliver flexibility, added value and cost-saving benefits.

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