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A leading Hampshire IT Managed Service Provider has strengthened its pledge to address the region’s skills gap shortage by hiring two new apprentices.

Fareham-based Matrix IT has secured positions for Josh Francis (21), who will be working as a Level 1 Support Technician, and Kayleigh Tozer (19), who will be learning the ropes with the Operations Team. The duo are the 18th and 19th apprentices that Matrix has taken on since its launch in 2003.

Louise Gascoigne, Operations Director at Matrix, believes through hiring apprentices it is directly addressing the current skills gap in the region. She said:

The pandemic and subsequent cost of living crisis has created significant disruption within education institutions, which led to a knock-on effect with training pathways, delaying the entry of new talent into our sector.

In addition to this, the last three years have seen an accelerated digital transformation within consumers and businesses, increasing the demand for IT professionals in cloud computing, cyber security, data analytics, and more. Security measures have increased due to more people working from home, and with more businesses moving online there has been an increased reliance on IT, as well as a rapid advancement in evolving technologies.

Louise continued:

With this in mind, it’s safe to say the need for bright young minds to train has never been more important. Through our apprentices we can support future talent in gaining hands-on experience in real-world situations, provide a clear pathway for continuous learning and also support our more seasoned staff by injecting fresh ideas and enthusiasm into our day-to-day operations.

Both employees will be supported in their training by Portsmouth based PETA Training Limited, who specialise in Engineers, Technical Experts and Business Leaders.

Before joining Matrix, Josh from Bedhampton had plans to join the Navy. However, after encountering a setback during the initial medical assessment, he decided to focus his aspirations on IT and technology, a subject he had been fascinated with since a teenager when he would fix gadgets at home.

Josh said:

I knew that an apprenticeship would be an ideal route for myself, given my hands-on experience with technology and my interest in computers. The transition to a Level 1 Support Technician through PETA in Cosham seemed like a natural progression. Despite the change in career paths, I haven’t looked back.

The diverse daily tasks, the supportive team at Matrix, and the opportunity to grow within the industry have solidified my decision. I’m treated like any other member of the team, not just an apprentice, which has greatly boosted my confidence, especially when dealing with challenging customer inquiries. I’m excited about the future and keen to continue advancing my skills and knowledge in this field.

Starting on the same day as Josh, Kayleigh has reaped the benefits of her apprenticeship. She said:

Being part of the Operations Team has not only allowed me to engage in hands-on work daily, which I always preferred, but it has also significantly developed my professional skill set. My communication skills have improved, not just in person but also over the phone, which is crucial in our line of work. I’ve also become more organised and confident in approaching new tasks and challenges.

The apprenticeship has provided a supportive environment for learning and growth, especially with mentors like Matrix’s Operations Manager, Louise Bushell, guiding me through complex projects.

Louise added:

Bringing in apprentices like Josh and Kayleigh is not just an investment in their future, but in the future of Matrix IT and the IT industry as a whole. They bring fresh perspectives and energy that are invaluable for innovation and staying ahead in this fast-paced sector. We wish them the very best of luck during their time here – they are both hugely valued members of our team.

Matrix IT aims to help businesses succeed through great technology solutions. The company strives for continuous improvement and employs the best technically qualified team of experts to deliver excellent customer service time and time again.

As a trusted strategic IT partner to a wide range of businesses and in-house teams, its goal is to make IT effortless, allowing its customers to develop, grow and succeed.

Matrix Business IT | Company number: 10099930