By Martin Dunsby, former Business Administration Apprentice


Former Apprentice Martin Dunsby manning the IT Service Desk at Stratford-upon-Avon College

Getting started. It’s got to be the biggest hurdle to career success: how to get your foot in the door when every job advert states ‘applicants must have experience’.

Having completed an IT course at university in 2008, I found myself in this very situation. It felt like every position I wanted to apply for required me to have already worked in the industry!

Which was when, looking through the local paper, I spotted an advert for Business and Administration apprenticeship positions at Stratford-upon-Avon College.

After a successful interview, which was itself a valuable experience, I started working in the College’s own MIS (Management Information Services) department as an apprentice. I gained invaluable experience working within an office environment, and also acquired many new skills and furthered my expertise from the training provided by the College’s Work Based Learning team.

I had a fantastic time throughout the training programme. But my good luck didn’t end there! Once I had completed the apprenticeship, I was thrilled to discover the opportunity to stay on at the College on a permanent basis, in the same role as a MIS Administrator. I later progressed to another job within the MIS department as a MIS Data Analyst, where I was able to use the knowledge and skills acquired as an apprentice to perform the tasks that were needed for my new role.

After working in this position for two years, I saw a Service Desk position had become available in the IT department of the College; a great opportunity for me to put my university education into practice.  Another successful interview followed and I am currently working as an IT Service Desk Technician – a position I love.

Having attended full-time education, I firmly believe taking an apprenticeship provided me with the skills, knowledge and experience to help me to progress to where I am now. I would highly recommend apprenticeships to anyone passionate about making their mark in a new career. So go for it – you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain!

For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit or call the College on 01789 266245.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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