Kieren Brown – case study
IT specialist Kieren Brown is a stand-out example of how apprenticeships can open doors to the working world.
Kieren, 26, joined Ipswich law firm Prettys in 2016 as an apprentice to do a BTEC Level 3 in business administration. Prettys had been looking for a Level 2 candidate, which Kieren had already achieved - but allowed him to take the higher qualification because they wanted to offer him a role.
Prior to joining Prettys, Kieren had already achieved Level 2 and Level 3 BTEC qualifications in IT while attending college and then went on to do his Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship at a local recruitment firm.
Since joining the legal industry at Prettys, Kieren has gained his Level 3 qualification in Business Administration and further pursued his love of computers by moving into the IT department there.
He said that throughout his year-long apprenticeship at Prettys, the firm supported him with everything he needed.
“I was always given time to focus on any assignments I needed to do, and everybody was very understanding of that,” he said.
“If I ever needed any additional time to work on my apprenticeship or attend meetings with my adviser, they were very flexible in allowing me to do this. They realised it was as important as the work I was doing and made me feel like a valued member of the team.”
Kieren, who is from Ipswich and has also previously worked at a youth employment centre, was given the opportunity to experience other areas of the Prettys business including shipping, commercial litigation and construction.
He decided on a role in IT, where he is now responsible for all IT-related induction training, technical support and systems maintenance and development across the firm. The role is varied and involves detailed collaboration with Prettys’ external IT support and specialist case management systems providers.
He believes apprenticeships are a great option and urged more people to look at doing one.
“University is not the only option out there and it all depends on what direction you want to go in and what opportunities you have,” he said. “In some cases, apprenticeship is the best choice.”
Kieren has worked closely with Rebecca Palmer, the company’s senior associate and head of construction, supporting presentations for the Business Academy and Developers’ Club that Prettys run.
Rebecca said the team realised that Kieren had a particular strength in IT and had watched him develop in his role.
“We noticed how he spoke the language of IT and while it initially started out quite informally with him just helping out when someone’s computer stopped working, it was clear that he’d found his niche,” she said.
“His talent in this area was obvious to us and when we were looking for a new member of the IT team it was clear that Kieren was the perfect fit.”