Meet the Digital Allies apprentice

In support of National Apprenticeship Week 2018, Digital Allies are celebrating the success of apprenticeships and championing their benefits for employees, businesses, communities and the economy.

“50% of our technical team completed an apprenticeship at the outset of their careers. We are firm believers in the value of the modern apprenticeship program and we have been delighted to take on our first direct apprentice and to also benefit from hiring others who have served their time as apprentices who are now part of our experienced delivery team. Matt is a great asset and he adds to the diversity we have within the business.” said Steven Parker, Managing Director, Digital Allies.

Matt Reale joined Digital Allies in 2017. He studied at Darlington College and was already an accomplished website developer with a passion for creating marketing driven user and admin friendly websites.

We caught up with Matt to discuss his experience learning the tricks of the trade within Digital Allies.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship scheme?

I felt that I had a good grasp of the basics in terms of the technical side of web development and I wanted to be part of a real business working on live projects rather than continuing with classroom-based education.

After much consideration, I was determined to develop my skills and put them to work, quite literally. My learning preference is visual, learning about the theory behind Information Communications Technology at Secondary School and then College was great but I felt that it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to put the theory into action that I began to get a full understanding of the subject.

How did you find out about the Apprenticeship Scheme?

I discovered the apprenticeship scheme through Darlington College’s careers opening evening. I had already been exploring my options through the Government Careers Advisory Website looking to find out what was available to me.

I had applied for a couple of apprenticeship placements but the opportunity with Digital Allies was by far the one best suited to my skills set and in line with the direction I want to take my career in.

What has been the best thing so far about your apprenticeship?

Being around people in the industry is something that is limited at University and College even though they try and promote work experience weeks they are few and far between.”

My role within Digital Allies is to work closely with not only the web development team but also with our designers, SEO team and digital marketing department. I think this has given me a greater insight into the context that the websites I help to develop sit in. I also think it is helping by team working, communication skills and overall self-confidence.

As Matts’ manager Matthew Bryson, Head of Technical Development has watched Matt evolve in his role. “Matt has a great work ethic and a willingness to learn. He is a great help to the business, since we have had him on board we have seen our capacity to take on more projects increase and Matt provides extra resource to manage our workflow. I can see how he is developing he has come a long way in the six months he has been with us. From a personal point of view I have found it very satisfying helping to develop Matts career, I get a certain amount of pride when I hear the positive feedback Matt gets from clients and internal team members.

What are your plans when the apprenticeship is over?

I definitely want to carry on learning but ideally in the work environment and ideally with Digital Allies.

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