Solomon Annison is January’s Learner of the Month

Our Learner of the Month for January is Solomon Annison, an IT Support Technician at J&C Joel based in Halifax, who is about to enter into EPA for his Level 3 Infrastructure Technician apprenticeship.

Solomon was nominated by his line manager, Brandon Wilcock, for “being outstanding and also for managing the IT Service Desk on his own in the beginning of January 2019”.

Solomon Annison and Brandon Willock at J & C Joel

Solomon Annison (right) and his line manager and previous Estio apprentice, Brandon Willock (left)

Brandon continued, “[Solomon] is always progressing in many different areas, big or small. There is nothing which Solomon is lacking in terms of being able to provide support to the end-users within J&C Joel. When Solomon comes back from Training he is always expressing his passion and love for what he has learnt and he tries to implement his learning into his work too. I believe that the learning he has undertaken has paid off and made him more of a wise, mature but professional technologist.”

J&C Joel Limited was established in 1978 , they are one of the world’s leading manufacturers and installers of flame-retardant fabrics, flooring, drapery and stage engineering. J&C Joel is a family business which was started by the current CEO’s Father.

Solomon decided to take the apprenticeship route when he was halfway through his A-Levels. “I’ve always enjoyed IT, I chose Computer Science at GCSE which exposed me to the hands-on aspect of IT and I really enjoyed it. I’m also motivated by money, so I wanted to choose an industry that offers good prospects and decent salaries.”

“I was plodding through my A-Levels feeling a little unmotivated, and decided to hand my CV in around a few places and see what happened. I was contacted by Estio and within a few weeks I had started my apprenticeship, which was fantastic. I was able to start earning a salary, start achieving some qualifications, and I discovered that I really enjoy the workplace environment.

“I was interested in an apprenticeship because I could achieve a number of certifications, which will put me in reallt good stead for the future. I want to stay within the field of IT, I’ve chosen this industry purposefully. In the future I’d like to lead an IT Support Team and then eventually work for myself as a contractor. I’m a very driven person and I’m really happy that I’m working towards my goals already.”

“I started the apprenticeship with some knowledge, but I now have so much more knowledge! In my day-to-day role I have far more experience than I could have picked up in school. In training I’ve gained a number of qualifications that I didn’t have access to in sixth form.

“One of the modules I enjoyed the most was the CompTIA 901, I went in with very little knowledge, but as the week went on I could feel myself learning more and more, and at the end I managed to pass the exam which I was wicked. Also the trainer, Gavin, was brilliant.”

“I’ve found Networking to be the most challenging, I didn’t have any prior knowledge because it involved a lot of terminology I hadn’t come across before, but I also managed to pass the module because of the support from trainers who pushed me and motivated me to achieve.

“I started my apprenticeship with a Skills Coach that I really liked but who unfortunately left Estio. The transition to my current Skills Coach, Kamran, was really smooth with no issues, my course work came back completed and he’s been really helpful.”

“I always remind myself of the quote, “do something today that your future self will thank you for” and this drives me. Being on the apprenticeship is something I know my future self will thank me for, and I would definitely recommend it to a friend if they were interested in going in to IT. I’ve had absolutely no issues throughout the apprenticeship and I’ve felt really supported along the way”.

Brandon explained that J&C Joel regularly takes advantage of apprenticeships, and have employed up to 15 apprentices across all areas of the business, including Reception, Manufacturing, Sales and Accounts as well as IT.

He explained, “The benefits of apprenticeships to our business is having the opportunity to meet and great new individuals who are inspired to be young technologists. It’s a pleasure to train them up resulting in them potentially being employed by us i.e Solomon Annison. Another benefit is that we are widening our horizon to the job market by giving people more opportunities and whilst giving something back to the community too.”

“I would recommend Estio to other users and other companies which I encounter along the way – As I believe that the level of help, support and professionalism from Estio throughout Solomon’s apprenticeship has been impeccable. A massive shout out to the Trainers who have given Solomon the chance to learn and who have shared Knowledge with him. Also, I’d like to mention Kamran for taking Solomon under his wing and assisting him every step of the way in such short time.”

We are so thrilled that Solomon and Brandon have both found the apprenticeship programme to be a roaring success, and wish Solomon the best of luck in his upcoming EPA.

If you would like to nominate a Learner for Learner of the Month then please email the following details:

Learner Name:
Apprenticeship programme:
Reason for nomination: