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Hear from airport's former apprentices during Scottish Apprenticeship Week '24

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Two members of Edinburgh Airport's IT team, who first joined as apprentices, have been sharing their own experiences during Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2024.

David Church and Frankie Moralee play a key role at Scotland's busiest airport as IT Service Desk Engineers.

They first joined the business as apprentices, fresh out of studying at college, and have seen their careers develop ever since, honing their skills as IT professionals while also embracing life in a fast-paced and exciting airport environment.

Here they talk about how their apprenticeships came about, what it's like working in an airport, and what advice they've got for future apprentices.

How did your role at the airport come about?

David: I went through the Kickstart Scheme after Covid and through that I got the apprenticeship at the airport's IT Service Desk.

Before coming to the airport my background was specific to web design and development, and UX work. I went to college and completed Honours in these subjects. As I graduated just as Covid started there weren't many opportunities, and it's then I heard about the Kickstart Scheme. This helped me get my foot in the door and I've enjoyed it ever since.

Frankie: I was a college student before I started working at Edinburgh Airport. I had an interest in computing, so I chose to study cybersecurity after finishing high school. When my course was over in 2021 I wanted to get into the IT industry.

A friend told me about the Kickstart Scheme I could do through universal credit, which I thought would be a good opportunity. This is how I came across the job advert for an IT Service Desk Analyst at Edinburgh Airport.

David Church and Frankie Moralee - Edinburgh Airport IT team

David Church and Frankie Moralee are IT Service Desk Engineers.

What was the apprenticeship like?

David: I took part in a QA course which helped me gain certifications at SCQF Level 8 in IT & Telecommunications. During the apprenticeship a typical day would involve working through tickets and gaining knowledge on the systems we use at the airport.

Now I've completed the apprenticeship I'm more involved with the Intune suite, working with mobile and tablet devices we use across different departments. We have since moved over to a new system so I have been involved in creating and configurating this so it meets our teams’ requirements.

Frankie: The first thing was to learn the basics of my job role. I was given simple tasks to complete, and these helped me develop a basic understanding.

Due to the nature of an IT Service Desk, there were open jobs waiting to be completed. These are split into incidents and requests. I was given the freedom to look at open jobs and go through them, figuring out on my own how to complete the work. For example, I would look at an open incident (an IT problem someone in the business reported) and then I’d figure out how to resolve it. This involved research and self-learning, and developed my IT knowledge, problem solving, and self-learning skills.

After being at the airport for six months the business enrolled me into a course with QA for IT and Telecoms. I completed this in 2023 and attained a diploma, alongside two years of experience in my current role.

How has your career progressed since joining the airport?

David: I have gone from completing my apprenticeship to becoming a Service Desk Engineer.

My skillset in IT support has improved over the past two years as I have become more aware of the different types of technologies that would be expected in the business world, and an airport environment.

Frankie: When I started I was fresh out of college with no industry experience. Now, almost three years later, I have developed my IT knowledge and skills, gained new qualifications, and I’m on-track to completing a few IT certifications on the side as well. I feel as though I've reached a good position in my career and progressed a lot in just a few years.

Frankie Moralee, from Edinburgh Airport IT team.

What do you enjoy most about working in an airport?

David: It's an enjoyable place to work. Within the IT team there is always a chance to take part in projects going on and learn about new systems.

Across the wider airport you work as a team and get involved with many different things going on in the terminal. It's unique in that we can also supply support within other departments. If we need to go and help out in the check-in hall we do it!

Frankie: An airport is a constantly changing and lively place to work. Even though I mostly work in an office, I sometimes go out and solve issues. This lets me see how the airport works, and I feel a strong drive and commitment to keep things running for passengers.

I like how varied it is, and how it always offers chances to learn new things and develop new skills and knowledge. There are times during busy periods when you are exposed more to the airport's operation.

What advice would you give future apprentices?

David: The airport is a great place to start your career. The training opportunities are exceptional and they are always looking to invest in their staff - either by providing the chance to go for certifications or through internal job progression.

Frankie: The airport has a lot of opportunities to learn and grow, so I suggest making full use of that.

Self-learning is also a very important skill, not just in IT, so improving this and becoming effective at growing on your own is something that will help your career and overall life. The next time you face something you don't know the answer to, before asking the person next to you try to figure it out first. Or at least, figure out how to figure it out.

Find out more about Edinburgh Airport careers, and current job opportunities, here.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week celebrates the benefits apprentices bring to individuals, businesses, and the economy. It runs from March 4 to March 8. Find out more here.