2019 British Chamber Awards

2019 Chamber Business Awards regional win for The Apprentice Store

The Apprentice Store, an IT service provider that delivers a unique IT service from Inverness, has been crowned one of the winners in the Scotland heats of the Chamber Business Awards 2019. Now in their 16th year, the Awards are a highlight of the business calendar, recognising the key role that local businesses play in driving the UK economy.

The Employer of the Year winner, The Apprentice Store, will now go forward to represent the Scotland Region in the national finals, which take place in London in November.

Francis Martin, President of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“The Chamber Business Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the best of British business. Across the country, there are firms of all sizes and sectors thriving and showing their innovation and adaptability, even in the midst of turbulent times. 

“Our businesses communities continue to generate prosperity and opportunity so it’s only right that we support and shout about the fantastic things they are doing.

“Each year the calibre of applicants impresses our judges, and this pool of entrants was no different. All our finalists should be proud of their success in reaching this stage and we wish them the very best of luck.”

The Apprentice Store is an IT service provider that delivers a unique IT service from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands to the local business community and beyond. They are the only Scottish IT service provider that invests all of their profits into their staff whilst delivering a high quality and caring service to their clients.

The Apprentice Store works with businesses of all sizes and sectors to support them with their IT systems. The Apprentice Store offers all of their services on project and monthly basis regardless of the size of the business with the service designed around the client needs.

Crying emoji saying goodbye

A new chapter for Josh

Today is the last day at The Apprentice Store for Josh Black who joined us in 2018 as a network support apprentice.

Josh recently participated in our first every ‘Apprentice swap’ with Gael Force. This was a big transition for Josh moving from a consultancy role with multiple clients, to an in-house team at a large company. As ever, Josh rose to the challenge, so much so that he was offered a permanent role with Gael Force.

Daryl Titcomb, IT Administrator at Gael Force explains: “In recent placements with Gael Force we were incredibly impressed with Josh’s capability and his enthusiasm to learn on the job.  We are delighted that he will now join us in a permanent role within our highly active IT department. 

“The Apprentice Store has been very supportive to our needs as a business which is fully embracing IT developments at a fast pace.  We are very grateful to have been engaged with them in recent months, not only because we are gaining a young, motivated team member, but because we ourselves have learned a lot from the skills that young people bring to the company.”

David Massey, founder of The Apprentice Store congratulates Josh: “It is obviously a day of mixed emotions for me and the team. Whilst we are sad to see Josh go, we are so proud of him and everything he has achieved. We set up The Apprentice Store to create opportunities for young people in IT and Josh’s job offer with a well-established and significant employer in the Highlands is proof that the model works.”

We all wish Josh all the best for the next chapter in his career.

Jordan Whyte

Jordan joins the team

This week, we are delighted to welcome Jordan Whyte to The Apprentice Store.

Aged 17, Jordan has joined us as a web developer apprentice, having studied at Nairn Academy and completed his NPA Computing Level 5 at UHI.

Jordan is no stranger to The Apprentice Store, having done work experience with us through the Prince’s Trust earlier this year. We were so impressed with him that we stayed in touch and were delighted to offer him a permanent role.

Speaking about his first week, Jordan said: “It’s great to be here! I’m enjoying staying productive and learning something new each day with David and the team. The Apprentice Store is one of a very small number of local ICT companies that employs young people. I see this as a golden opportunity for me to grow as a web developer and gain valuable experience and qualifications which will stand me in good stead for the future. The chance to become financially stable whilst learning is such a good outcome for me.”

When he’s not in front of a screen, Jordan can be found exercising and shopping. He is saving his pennies to travel to new places!

Welcome Jordan!

Investors in Young People Presentation

The Apprentice Store achieves Investors in Young People gold accreditation

The Apprentice Store, an IT service provider in Inverness supporting businesses in the Highlands and beyond, has achieved the prestigious Investors in Young People gold accreditation – an achievement that represents a true commitment to the recruitment, development and retention of Scotland’s young people.

A plaque to commemorate this achievement was presented by Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney at the organisation’s office in Inverness today.

Developed in 2014 as a result of the Wood Commission recommendations, Investors in Young People is a unique framework that helps organisations in Scotland recruit, develop and retain young people, supporting youth employment.

Commenting on the award, David Massey, managing director and founder of The Apprentice Store, said: “It is an honour and a privilege to work with young people and help them forge a career in IT. To have our work with young people recognised by Investors in Young People and, at the highest level by John Swinney, means a great deal to us. We look forward to expanding The Apprentice Store, taking on more apprentices and supporting more clients in the Highlands and Islands as well as the rest of Scotland.”

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney said: “I would like to congratulate The Apprentice Store on achieving the Investors in Young People Gold Accreditation Award. This success demonstrates to other organisations and apprentices what can be achieved with focus, motivation and dedication.

“Apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities for people of all ages – providing them with the chance not only to work and earn, but also to achieve an industry recognised qualification to support future career ambitions. By equipping our young people with the right skills and learning opportunities we can help them on the pathway into employment ensuring Scotland’s economy continues to grow.”

Bonnie Clarke, Interim Chief Executive of Remarkable, the organisation licensed to deliver Investors in Young People, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for The Apprentice Store – congratulations! Investors in Young People not only recognises and supports organisations in the employment of young people, it also marks them out as an employer of choice. Our research shows that 95% of those involved with Investors in Young People say it is relevant to their organisation and as a result 93% of young people within these organisations feel valued. We wish The Apprentice Store continued success for the future.”

The Apprentice Store’s services cover web development, cyber security, IT support, and IT consultancy. The organisation works with businesses of all sizes and sectors from the public, private and third sector and is the only Scottish IT service provider that invests all profits into staff.

Apprentices are employed on a full-time basis rather than fixed term contracts with each following a personal learning plan. They typically follow levels 6 and 8 of Modern Apprenticeships, finishing their two-year programme with recognised qualifications (SVQs). They are all supported by mentors who are experts in their field to ensure that work is delivered to a high standard. Ultimately, The Apprentice Store has a core aim of increasing employment opportunities in IT for young people in the Highlands.

Now in its third year with a strong client base and expanding team and services, The Apprentice Store looks set for further growth as more businesses seek reliable IT services at a competitive rate, delivered by an unique combination of an enthusiastic apprentice and an experienced mentor.

New Website Package Launch

Introducing our New Website Packages

Are you in need of a new website?

Then you’ve come to the right place!

The Apprentice Store has just launched two new Website Packages to help you find the right website for your business or organisation, and at very competitive prices. Both of our new packages come with a special Brand Launch discount of 10% off the prices you see below until the end of November 2018.

The Apprentice Store Named Youth Employer of the Month

The Apprentice Store has been named Skills Development Scotland’s Youth Employer of the Month for August 2018 for our efforts in creating opportunities for young people, particularly those from diverse background.

We believe that businesses of all sizes should look to develop their workforce through the apprenticeship family from Foundation, through to Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships. Engaging with young people allows the workforce of the future to be developed today and by offering the right working environment you can be more confident that you keep the staff that you have developed.

David Massey and David Powell

The Apprentice Store Acquires Web Development Company Lanetech

As of the 1st June 2018, The Apprentice Store acquired leading web development business Lanetech. The acquisition will enable The Apprentice Store to diversify the IT services it provides to businesses across the Highlands and Islands and take on more apprentices to train in web development.

Inverness based Lanetech is a well-established business that has been serving clients across the UK for over 10 years under the leadership of David Powell. With more than 60 clients including well-known brands such as Craggan Outdoors and Keltic Seafare, Lanetech provides website design and development; internet services and email newsletter set-up and design.

and now there are two!

We are please to welcome Alex Clunas to The Apprentice Store to work alongside Matthew Dickinson in the delivery of services to our clients. Alex joins us from The Shirlie Project as a Digital Marketing Apprentice and is following a Modern Apprenticeship that is support by Skills Development Scotland. Alex has training support through his Modern Apprenticeship from Virtual Learning Academy based in Invergordon and is looking forward to his first training session from Tuminds in October.

Work Smarter, Not Harder – Office Automation

Mundane, repetitive jobs are not everyone’s favourite task but sometimes they are necessary to ensure the smooth running of your business. However, these kinds of jobs can not only sap motivation from your staff  they can also use up valuable time that could be better spent on growing your business as a recent client of ours knew only too well.

Our client was entering the same data in to two different systems in order to gain just one report at the end of it. That was before they asked The Apprentice Store to help.