My apprenticeship in software engineering has changed my whole attitude for work

  • Date

    Wed 29 Jan 20

National Apprenticeship Week Dragos Pavel

Apprenticeships are a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to gain vital skills for their chosen career; and provides employers with a valuable working force.

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we have spoken to both apprentices and employers on our schemes to find out why they are so rewarding.

Essex graduate Dragos Pavel, 30, is an Administration and Systems Officer at Accommodation Essex, based at our Colchester Campus.

He is currently undertaking the Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship (Software Engineer Pathway) whilst working at Essex.

Dragos completed an undergraduate degree in Film Studies and Art History before joining Accommodation Essex as an Administration Officer in 2014.

His manager noticed Dragos’ interest in programme development and encouraged Dragos to apply for a degree apprenticeship. He was accepted on the course and started in September 2019.

Dragos explains why he wanted to become an apprentice.

He said: “I wanted to back up the skills I already had and meet the demands of my role which was becoming increasingly systems development focused. The apprenticeship will help me develop skills to improve the current system at Accommodation Essex and make it more efficient to use.”

The apprenticeship has been a great learning experience for Dragos.

He said: “I have really enjoyed the apprenticeship so far. It was challenging at first as the course is fast paced, but over time you definitely get used to it. Although it can be challenging, the apprenticeship is fun and I’m learning so quickly.”

As part of his course, Dragos has regular progress tests which ensures he can keep track on how he’s doing and helps to retain the information needed when he undertakes his exams.

University is ideal place for degree apprenticeships

For Dragos, Essex has been the ideal workplace for his apprenticeship.

He said: “The staff are so knowledgeable and supportive and the University of Essex has great facilities.”

One of the highlights of his course was getting 100 per cent on a Mathematics progress test.

He said: “I put a lot of effort in and the hard work really paid off. Working whilst learning means I’m able to draw from skills I already have. I’m really proud of what I have achieved!”

His future goal is to go into software engineering and design a system from scratch.

He said: “The knowledge I’ve gained has already been applied at work and I’ve only just started my apprenticeship!

As an apprentice you get to meet like-minded people from so many different backgrounds and ages and you experience and learn so many new things. It has changed my whole attitude to work and I feel refreshed in my role!”

Apply for our degree apprenticeships

As well as apprenticeships in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, the University also offers apprenticeships in Health and Social care and an AMBA accredited Master of Business Administration Degree Apprenticeship at Essex Business School.

For more information about apprenticeships at Essex, please email or visit our apprenticeships pages