Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

The Power of Apprenticeships

March 8, 2017

In August 2014, I joined Cisco as one of sixteen Cross-Functional Apprentices for the FY15 year. Now, in my third and final year of the Cisco Apprenticeship Programme, I can reflect upon my experiences rotating through the diverse organisations that collectively form the tech titan that is Cisco.

On the cusp of sweet graduation, it is with bittersweet sentiments that I look back on the time I have enjoyed as a Cisco Apprentice. It is at this point that I can wholly understand and appreciate the opportunities that I have been afforded through this programme – ones which may not have been made available to me through alternative routes following A-Levels.

I have been empowered through the provision of skills, knowledge and training to flourish within the business. I have developed both professionally and personally. Professionally, through gaining exposure in the business bolstered with training and certificatiojon1ns, and personally through participating in CSR activities, apprenticeship initiatives and co-curricular projects. I now need only to apply that which I have learnt to a permanent role within Cisco – a role which I am still in the process of finalising, having been presented with so many tantalising prospects.

Having worked in a multitude of teams across Technical Services, Advanced Services and Sales, I feel that I have been granted the opportunity to make a tangible contribution to the business. As with all 50 of us enrolled on the scheme, the variety of rotations have equipped me with an array of transferable skills with which I can benefit the business. Multiplied by the number of apprentices enrolled, you can envision the impact that has on both the business, and the apprentices themselves.

In leveraging apprentices as valuable assets to the business, Cisco joins other UK employers who reap the benefits of acquiring talent by way of apprenticeships. Employers benefit in the long and short term; including through increased productivity, better retention of staff and reduced training costs through government subsidies. In fact, CEBR (Centre for Economics and Business Research) estimated that apprentices have contributed towards increased outputs for businesses of £1.8 billion in a recent report (, 2017).

With new talent comes new ideas. The Cisco Apprenticeship provides the business with a plethora of skills and new perspectives from a generation who have grown up in a connected world. The apprenticeship provides innovation to the business – leveraging a diverse group of young people who are helping to fill the skills-gap faced by the tech sector in the UK. In recruiting and developing apprentices at Cisco, we are actively investing in our future.

Me on right end, with other Cisco Apprentices at The Leaderboard Team Relay Triathlon Challenge

Me on right end, with other Cisco Apprentices at The Leaderboard Team Relay Triathlon Challenge

Apprenticeships are now a significant pipeline as part of Cisco’s early in career talent acquisition strategy. With more than 50 apprentices enrolled on the scheme, Cisco’s apprenticeship is proving itself to be a vital resource in recruiting young, fresh talent with a broad range of skills into the business.

The government is also recognising the power of apprenticeships, which is why programmes like the one we have here at Cisco are at the heart of the Government’s drive to equip people with the skills that employers need to grow and compete. This is with good reason, as apprenticeships are being recognised for providing a wealth of benefits to the wider economy. Did you know that for every £1 that is spent on apprenticeships, the national economy gains £21? (, 2017) This is considerable in comparison to other expenditure. For example, ROI in the innovation, research and technology sectors ranges from around £4 – £7 per £1 spent. Consequently, a report by CEBR concluded that apprenticeships contributed more than £34 billion to the national economy in the year 2014 (, 2017).

I think the power of apprenticeships is clear to see: they benefit the economy; they provide Cisco with a rich, diverse source of talent that contributes to the future workforce; and they empower young people with the skills, knowledge and training to flourish in the business. There really has never been a better time to become a Cisco Apprentice.

References (2017). Economic Impact of Apprenticeships | Centre for Economics and Business Research. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Apprenticeships will contribute £34 billion to UK economy this year – GOV.UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2017].

Leave a comment


  1. Hi

    Please can you confirm if you use a training provider for your apprenticeship scheme. If so who?


    • Hi there Jo,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I can confirm that the Cisco Apprenticeship Programme is delivered in collaboration with the training provider ‘QA Apprenticeships’.

      All the best,