SecuriGroup is one of the UK’s leading security companies and are keen to invest in the skills and knowledge needed for the future. Their apprenticeship programme allows candidates to gain hands-on experience while they earn and learn. SecuriGroup apprentices are currently engaged in programmes from electronic fire and security, business administration, cyber security, and software development.
In this case study we hear from SecuriGroup IT Manager Alexander Bell and Graduate Apprentice Bash Olagoke who has joined the Management Information (MI) Data Development team at SecuriGroup, as a Graduate Apprentice Software Developer attending Glasgow Caledonian University.
Born in Nigeria, West Africa in 1976, Bash Olagoke graduated in mechanical engineering from the very first university in Nigeria in 1998. Throughout his working life he worked as a maintenance officer and then a mechanical technician. In 2012 he arrived in Scotland and went through the asylum process, gaining the right to study and work. Bash believed he could do anything he wanted to if he put his mind to it and wanted to give back to the community that he now called home.
His employment journey started by volunteering with “Alternatives to Violence Project Scotland”. His motivation led him to combine his volunteering work with study at West College Scotland, gaining qualifications in Financial Management, LGBTQ+ Awareness and Data Coordination. He took on the role of data co-ordinator with AVP Scotland, which prompted his interest in a career in data & digital technology.
Following starting work as a Security Officer having utilised his Individual Training Account through Skills Development Scotland, Bash enrolled on the Glasgow Code Learning programme, a digital skills initiative led by Glasgow Life, with teaching delivered by Glasgow Clyde College and industry.
On the programme, Bash gained a Professional Development Award in Cyber Resilience at SCQF Level 7. One of the key partners engaging with students on the programme through SDS was Glasgow Caledonian University, to promote their Graduate Apprenticeship Programmes and identify candidates for vacancies. One vacancy which went live was the Graduate Apprenticeship in Software Development with Securigroup.
William Murray, Digital Skills Planning Manager with Skills Development Scotland commented “Due to the proactive approach from Bash to discuss his CV, be clear on job goals and seek advice on his progression route beyond the Glasgow Code Learning programme, his name immediately sprung to mind when the opportunity with Securigroup went live in Apprenticeships.Scot.
“In addition to the engagement on the Glasgow Code Learning programme from Glasgow Caledonian University, this ensured a quick turnaround on candidate acquisition for both the employer and learning provider, with a clear demonstration of the value of the Glasgow Code Learning programme as a talent pipeline for the digital technologies sector in Glasgow”.
What does this Graduate Apprenticeship look like?
Olagoke said: “I have joined the MI Data Development Team here at SecuriGroup, this department leads companies to making certain business decisions and that is why I am so invested.
“Normally, I will be in the office four days a week while attending Glasgow Caledonian University. This has given me the opportunity to learn more and gain more experience.
"This graduate apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to be in the working environment and has exposed me to the real challenges I could face over the course of my career.”
Bell expands: “As this team is so crucial, we want to make sure our apprentices have the programming and coding skills to ensure we can effectively retrieve data from the entire organisation which can effect operational decisions.”
What has surprised you the most while doing this Graduate Apprenticeship?
Bash explained: “You gain a unique work experience as you are immersed in the work environment and I feel valued in the short time I have been here. Due to this, I am motivated to learn more and to get something out of it.
Are there any particular projects you have been involved in yet?
Bell said: “At the moment, Bash has been with us a very short period of time. So far, he has gone through his inductions to find out more about who we are and what we do.
“Bash has been completing training courses and finding out more about the different technologies that we use. But we do have a list of exciting projects coming up for Bash!”
What are the key technical digital skills that this role needs?
Bell extends: “The key skills Bash will learn throughout is role are; SQL, statistical programming using Scala and Python, and data visualisation and presentation. As he progresses, pushing further into and machine learning and insight development.
“Meta skills typical from this role will focus on critical thinking and problem solving. Although being a key member of the MI development team, Bash will find himself immersed in many of the underlying supporting functions including finance, HR and compliance, business development and commercial. This will further build and develop those interpersonal skills through collaboration with stakeholders at all levels. We aim to give our apprentices an end to end understanding of our business, as that allows them the greatest opportunities to identify and improve the business. around them.”
How many apprentices does SecuriGroup have?
Bell comments: “SecuriGroup currently employ 20 apprentices across the organisation at both Modern and Graduate levels. SecuriGroup’s IT department having welcomed 10 apprentices in the digital space since 2018. of which 8 employees continue to work within the team covering disciplines such as software development, cyber security, data/MI development and technical support. Furthermore, two colleagues having made the move from Modern to Graduate level schemes throughout their tenure.”
What would you say to a company that are thinking about taking on apprenticeships but are unsure?
Bell said: “SecuriGroup utilises apprenticeships as an opportunity to offer the security industry to those who would otherwise have never considered a career in the sector, offering a range of roles and opportunities for development and progression.
"It is for this reason that the organisation has lobbied continuously for the creation and development of recognised apprenticeships within the security industry itself, all the while investing in apprenticeships in the wider organisation.
"SecuriGroup’s culture is empowered by our fantastic people. Our investment in apprentices and the continuous development of our employees is one way in which SecuriGroup demonstrates its commitment to our greatest asset, our people. We’re committed to providing a career start for our apprentices, instilling in them our ethos and values, and striving towards our core purpose of strengthening society.
"We would encourage any organisation considering apprenticeships to explore the options available to them and discuss their needs with the team at Skills Development Scotland and believe the adoption of apprentices is a key step in developing the future of our industry.
"Having started my career as an apprentice myself, I would offer this personal advice to a potential apprentice: Ensure the apprenticeship opportunity is the right fit for you. From personal experience, a career is what you decide to make it. Face each day with enthusiasm and never be afraid of asking “Why?”
Bash adds: “If I was to give any advice to anyone considering doing an apprenticeship, I would say the sky is the limit! And especially with myself, there is no age limit!
“Anybody out there who is interested in something new or different, do it! In the short time being here I have been exposed to so much and I am finally doing what I have always wanted to do.”