The Pracedo Apprenticeship Approach

Posted on 2020-07-10 17:32:28
Penny Townsend's Headshot

Pracedo’s COO Penny Townsend, who manages the apprentices at Pracedo, talks us through the approach and successes of the scheme.

Developing our own talent is a fundamental part of Pracedo’s ethos. This gives us the opportunity to support the Salesforce eco-system by creating new experts who can enter the space and build successful careers, while surrounding ourselves with a team of people true to our culture and values.

The primary way we have achieved this is through our Pracedo Apprenticeship scheme. Our recommendations to other partners wanting to do something similar is:

  1. Find a provider you trust who resonates with your vision and values
  2. Commit to the programme and put the time in

In LDN we’ve found a provider that fits. Another small business that not only delivers great education but has a strong social mobility mission that fits brilliantly into Pracedo’s DNA.

We are about to graduate our fifth group of apprentices, that’s a 5-year investment in our apprenticeship approach and during this time we’ve learned and improved a lot.

One of our former apprentices is now a Senior Developer and one of our most valuable team members. That’s a great career achievement for him but also means he’s been able to more than triple his salary within three years.

In total, 9 of our team members have been through the apprenticeship scheme, plus 2 on our Italian version and we are also the first UK partner to hire as part of the Salesforce Military Alliance. We are looking forward to having our next cohort of between 4-10 apprentices join us in September 2020 and intend to grow even faster.

One of this year’s group is predicted to graduate with a Distinction and was a finalist for the LDN Apprentice of the Year competition. All three have been outstanding and have won praise from their colleagues and customers.

So what do we do that enables them to be successful?
Instead of a specific trainee programme, we listen to our apprentices, their peers and mentors so that we can give them each the best start possible. The feedback we’ve had from our apprentices over the years is along the lines of:

  • ‘I want to be treated the same as my colleagues’
  • ‘I want to get stuck in and help on exciting projects’
  • ‘I think I learn best when I’m on a real project’
Pracedo Consultant Henry Maxwell talks about his experiences of being an apprenticeship to potential new apprentices at an introduction day.

So we’ve taken that on board and our approach is now to put our apprentices on projects from day one. We typically allocate them to two projects. One that’s mid-way through where they can make a practical contribution to helping prepare documents, write test cases and do internal tests etc.

The second project that they join is in the discovery phase, so they can see a project through its complete lifecycle.

We also work on ensuring that our apprentices get to experience a range of roles and responsibilities on projects ranging from; general Salesforce administration in our Trailblazer as a Service offering, or as pricing specialist on a complex CPQ project, or in learning AmpScript to support the Marketing Cloud practice amongst others.

Giving clarity of roles and responsibilities, helping them appreciate how their work can align with their portfolio projects and teaming them up with mentors and apprentice graduates have been the keys to our success. We look forward to welcoming more apprentices to Pracedo very soon.