NDL's Class of 2022 take home trio of firsts from Leeds Beckett University

As part of the NDL Apprenticeship Programme, this year’s cohort of NDL Software Engineers graduated from Leeds Beckett University with first-class honours. Achieving top marks for their Digital and Technology Solutions degrees, Simon Towler, Brook Murphy-Stubbs and Jack Wall celebrate their success after three years of studying alongside their hands-on work within NDL’s Product Development team.  

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Describing his experience of the programme, Jack Wall said: “I wanted to take the course as it focused on the programming and development niche of the wider IT subject. This is something that interested me previously in college, and so I wanted to further my skills and knowledge. 

“I spent a couple of years looking for an apprenticeship. One of the reasons NDL stood out was that they were offering a full degree apprenticeship (level 6). At the time this was quite rare. Most apprenticeships are level 3 or a few at foundation degree (level 4). I had already achieved my level 4 HND beforehand, so a level 3 or 4 apprenticeship would be one step backwards to go two steps forwards. Whereas NDL offering a level 6 degree apprenticeship was exactly the next step I was looking for. 

“Ultimately, I decided to go down the apprenticeship route with NDL as the typical route of going to university and trying to start a career afterwards just didn’t make sense for me. In the end, you get the qualification but have no experience. In the IT industry that experience is so important.  

“That’s why the NDL apprenticeship route stood out to me as not only have I got the same qualification I would have done through the typical uni route, but I also now have 3 years’ experience in the workplace at a software company - and that’s something you just can't get from university alone and is so valuable as a young person kickstarting their career in this industry.  

“Over the duration of the course, I developed many of my skills – such as Java, C# and Android apps programming, cyber security, database structures and data analysis. Not to mention various other career-focused skills, like team working, researching, problem-solving, speaking and presenting. It was generally confidence-boosting, and I would say it really brought me out of my shell. 

“Learning on the job reinforces the skills and practises you learn on the course and applies them to real-life situations. Being able to study for a degree and be able to learn day to day, on the job and earn an income all at the same time is the best of both worlds and is something I will be forever grateful to NDL for.” 

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As a Yorkshire-based software SME, NDL is dedicated to its contribution to the next generation of tech talent. The NDL Apprenticeship programme allows developers to gain hands-on experience while developing their skills and gaining essential industry-recognised qualifications. As part of Our Social Purpose, we place importance on personal development and education, facilitating improvements not just within our own teams – but in the power of our offering to the public sector.   

According to Tech Nation, “almost 80% of advertised tech roles are at the senior level potentially obstructing those at an earlier stage in their career from getting relevant experience in tech” and 64% of tech employees believe their tech skills are essential to job security. In order to provide the next generation of tech experts with the knowledge and certifications required to kick-start their careers, the NDL Apprenticeship Programme provides an alternate route to traditional study without working experience. 

A huge congratulations to Jack, Simon, and Brook on their achievements, and we can’t wait to see their impact on the future of the NDL product set

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