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Fourteen QA apprentices who have spent the last three years working at Cisco, celebrated completion of their Cisco Advanced and Higher programme at a graduation ceremony in central London.

Cisco celebrated the successful intake of their FY12/13 apprentices on the bespoke programme at their first ever graduation ceremony held at an innovative, tech-focused venue in central London — IDEALondon. A fantastic, cutting-edge venue and office space in the heart of London’s tech city, supporting emerging digital innovation in the capital. A fitting venue for young people celebrating their leap into a tech career with one of the world’s largest tech companies.

Inspirational talks from Richard Roberts, Managing Director of Commercial Sales and Roy Skillicorn, Director of Services Academy were a wonderful part of the day. Both graduating and current apprentices at the ceremony were treated to insightful presentations about how the apprenticeship programme started five years ago, and how Cisco sees apprentices as integral for talent development in the future. Inspiring and motivating their apprentices for the career that lies ahead of them.

Andy Turner, Director of Advanced Services, who was part of the grass-roots beginnings of the apprenticeship programme at Cisco four years ago, also attended the event and was thanked for successfully getting apprenticeships up and running at Cisco. The QA apprenticeship programme has made a real, positive impact for Cisco and is now integral to their talent development strategy.

Ritu Barolia, now a Project Manager and one of the graduating QA apprentices, said:

“The ceremony was an amazing way to celebrate all the hard work I put into the apprenticeship programme to achieve my qualification. It was great to be given my certificate at a special event with all the other apprentices. I had a really great day — it shows Cisco values the work I have done, and wanted to mark it with a graduation ceremony.”

Gemma Dalziel, an Apprentice Network Engineer, also attended the event, saying:

“It was great to hear how much apprentices are valued, and where I could be heading. I’m really looking forward to graduating from the programme and taking the next step in my career. I’m learning so much on the job and through my training with QA – it’s exciting to think of the opportunity I’ve been given with my apprenticeship.”

Ellie Ulrich, Apprentice Manager at Cisco said:

“Celebrating the achievements of our apprentices was a top priority for us. After five successful intakes we needed to recognise the pioneers that demonstrated the value apprentices bring to Cisco. It was their initial impact that ultimately encouraged the business to increase investment year-on-year. Our apprentices have some amazing accomplishments under their belts; significant business deals, National Apprenticeship Award wins and major project completions to name but a few. It was fantastic to give them the platform to be celebrated, and give the programme the same gravitas that Universities give to graduates.”

Following the launch of QA Apprenticeships’ Degree apprenticeship programme this year, the 2016 intake will be the first at Cisco to go straight onto the degree track — receiving a BSc degree from the University of Roehampton on completion of the programme. Applications are open now; for more information click here.

About Cisco

Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Cisco generate a revenue of $46.1 billion per year from sales of technology solutions; from storage and security to web conferencing to customers across the globe.


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