National Apprenticeship Week: Helpdesk team lead David talks about completing an apprenticeship while working for MCS

David joined the MCS team nearly four years ago as a member of our Helpdesk and has since risen to lead that team. Check out what he’s learnt since 2019 and how an apprenticeship is helping him grow in confidence and capability in his leadership role. 

I began my career with MCS in October 2019 as a Helpdesk Analyst. Before joining, I had recently completed my master’s degree in History, and was weighing up whether to explore careers in this field. Until joining the MCS team, I hadn’t really considered a future in renewables. As you can imagine, it wasn’t something covered in my history studies, but I was aware of the issues surrounding climate change and the role that renewables play in combating environmental disaster. 

Luckily, I was approached about a potential job at MCS and, having starting in 2019, I’ve never looked back. After working for MCS for two years, I was offered the opportunity to undertake a management apprenticeship to further my career progression. In line with this I moved into a more senior position on the Helpdesk in 2021, and then became the Helpdesk Team Lead in August 2022. 


Apprentices and ‘Skills For Life’ 

For me, ‘Skills for Life’ means gaining a skillset that can be adapted and used in many different scenarios and roles, rather than providing necessary skills to allow a very specific duty to be completed. With the growth of green jobs, the skills I have learnt during my apprenticeship can be applied across the industry in any management role I am in.  

The UK’s net zero targets have brought plenty of jobs into the renewables sector and this number will continue to grow. With this being the case, there will be a broad variety of different jobs available to those wanting to explore a green career. My role may be very similar to those in other sectors. However, doing my job for a company that is aiming to help in the journey towards net zero targets is a lot more rewarding. The green sector is forever changing, and this makes it a challenging and exciting thing to be a part of, something I think anyone looking for a new challenge should seriously consider.  

Taking up an apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to put into practice what you’re learning throughout. Having studied at university and completed my master’s, I wasn’t sure what to expect when doing an apprenticeship. But in doing so, I’ve been able to see the real benefits it has had for me in a working environment. For example, with moving into a managerial role, confidence played a big part and my apprenticeship has definitely helped me grow personally while learning  other useful skills.   

I would encourage anyone considering an apprenticeship to consider the hands-on benefits and real-life experience they give you. There are opportunities to undertake apprenticeships in many areas, even when just looking in the green sector. I would say it’s important to research the options that are out there. If possible, reach out to those who are currently undertaking an apprenticeship or have completed one to get a proper understanding of what you can gain from going down this training route. 


Developing skilled people is vital for the renewables sector   

There really needs to be a push on jobs in the green sector. The apprenticeship route can cater for all, but to bridge the skills gap, there needs to be a focus not just on getting new people into the sector, but experienced people with a lot of transferable skills.  

I find that people often think that apprenticeships are only for technical roles, which isn’t true. Like I have done, you can do an apprenticeship to learn leadership and managerial skills which you can apply anywhere. There is an apprenticeship to suit any type of job you’re looking for.  

I understand that an apprenticeship may not be the most suitable route for everyone, so alongside the development of dedicated low carbon apprenticeships, high quality accessible training courses are needed. 

My apprenticeship was made possible due to the willingness of MCS to promote within and push its employees to their potential. My move into a managerial position has been made much easier by the support of MCS and my course provider. The commitment to growing and developing talent within a company is something I would like to see from all businesses. It is going to be vital for us to nurture the skilled workforce the green sector will need into the future.