As part of National Apprentice Week last week, I went down to Astra Zeneca to meet up with 8 apprentices who are working in the IT project management team.
The apprentices had a ‘bake off’ and welcomed other members of the 200 strong IT team. There was some great baking going on from brownies to sponge cakes and plenty of Tea and Coffee to keep us all watered. One of the apprentices adopted an outsource model getting his sister to bake his cake. They are learning fast the art of delegation!!
The 8 apprentices were sourced from local schools and colleges by The Apprentice Academy ‘Talent Scout’ team as part of a programme to support Astra Zeneca to engage and develop future talent. It is amazing to see the roles they are all doing. In the past, people associated apprentices as working as office juniors, however all of these apprentices are doing some pretty impressive stuff.
Natalie for example is on a team responsible for deploying Windows 7 to Astra Zeneca employees across the UK, Sweden and the US. Dominic is working on an IT implementation project including extensive travel to sites across the UK, Amy supports Microsoft SharePoint Projects, whilst Ellie is working on a team which runs finance on SAP.
A great story was James who has developed his own Excel Macro which has significantly reduced reporting times. Pretty amazing stuff considering 8 months ago these young people were all still in college. It is clear to see Elaine Papworth, AstraZeneca Apprentice Manager is really passionate about the apprentices.
A lot has been put into their development which is now showing real benefits; a real success story for both Astra Zeneca and the 8 Project Managers of the future.