'Apprenticeships give you the best of both worlds'

There was never a doubt in Lia Hamp’s mind that a degree apprenticeship was for her. After completing her A-levels, she started applying for places keen to combine academic learning with on-the-job practical experience.

She quickly landed a place with multinational Siemens – and now, she is helping to spread the word about apprenticeships throughout the UK in her role as a Young Apprenticeship Ambassador.

THUMBlia hamp

Lia combines her work with the network with her role as a Digital and Technology Solutions Apprentice, delivered at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Her job means that she gains experience in programming, project management, information systems and cyber security, which she has chosen to specialise in.

“It’s genuinely a good route,” says Lia of apprenticeships. “You learn so much more than you would on a normal degree course because you are also doing the job at the same time, getting the practical experience.

“The way my apprenticeship is structured I have had the chance to work in different departments, which is where I decided to specialise in cyber security.”

DMU is home to the Cyber Technology Institute, with academics working with industry bodies to research, identify and prevent threats. Lia said: “It has been one of the best parts of the course. Richard Smith, our cyber security lecturer is so knowledgeable and it is one of the university’s specialisms.”

Lia is supporting National Apprenticeship Week this week, which will showcase how apprenticeships have helped employers and people of all ages and backgrounds.

This year’s theme is Build The Future and the week is a chance for us all to recognise how apprenticeships can help people develop the skills and knowledge they need to pursue a rewarding career, as well as to help employers build a workforce with the skills they need into the long term.

Since lockdown, Lia has been involved in lots of campaigns to support colleagues online.

She said: “Siemens is a very people-oriented company and very friendly. Since lockdown we have had lots of quizzes and games, a scavenger hunt online and it’s helped us keep in touch even though we are all in different parts of the country.”

Companies with a wage bill of £3m of more pay into the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy. This money can be used to fund apprenticeships either developing existing staff or creating new roles. SMEs can have 95% of the cost met through the levy.

DMU has nine apprenticeship programmes and nearly 700 learners on its apprenticeship programmes.

Posted on Thursday 11th February 2021

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