ResponsibleIT's Apprentice Program

Unlike most of our competitors, we are a Community Interest Company (CIC) incorporated by guarantee – we are a social enterprise. What does that mean? Well, we run our little company like a business – to make profits. But those profits are not handed out to investors or the owners, instead we use those profits to further develop our primary social cause.

Our primary social cause or mission is:

"to help young people in the UK with a passion and talent, but no experience in, I.T. start a successful career."

And our vision – both commercial and social – is:

"we will be as successful as Jamie Olivers' 15 Foundation has been with chefs, but with young aspiring I.T. engineers."

As Jamie Olivers' 15 Foundation provides young people in the UK the tremendous opportunity to start a successful career in the restaurant industry – we'd like to do that, but for nerds!

And why are we passionate about helping reduce youth unemployment? Well, research cited by Professor David Blanchflower of Dartmouth College suggests that:

"...those who experience unemployment when young suffer from permanent job-market disadvantages ... one study showed that lifetime wages for those who suffer unemployment when young are between 13% - 21% lower than for others.”

And here are some statistics on youth unemployment in the UK (as at August 2009):

  • Almost 1m aged 16-24 are currently unemployed (12.6% of that age group).
  • The rate of unemployment among those 'economically active' aged 16-24 is 19.1%, almost one in five.
  • Half the jobs lost over the past year were those of youngsters, pushing up the UKs youth joblessness rate to the highest in Europe.

And how do we achieve our social mission – to help young people start a successful career in IT? Well, from the founders' experience in running, building and growing IT support companies for businesses the thing that is most missing from candidates when they interview for engineer positions, is commercial experience.

Many have a palpable passion, a tangible talent and some even have qualifications. But most, more than 90%, don't have real-life commercial experience – supporting real users.

And there is a big difference from reading it in a book to actually doing it, and well, under the pressure of the time constraints your customers have. And that's what matters. What your customer needs. In this day-and-age, even at home – technology is hugely relied upon for our productivity and relaxation.

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