Celebrating Success

Our Annual Graduation Ceremony provides a wonderful opportunity each year for us to proudly recognise and celebrate the achievements of our graduating apprentices with their employers, family, friends and trainers. It’s a great opportunity for the future faces of IT and digital to network together, share experiences and exchange ideas.

2019 Graduation Ceremony 

This year’s Graduation Ceremony took place in Birmingham’s prestigious Council House on the 4th March 2019. We had over 100 attendees including apprentices, employers, family, friends, trainers and guest speakers. We also had some young people interested in establishing their career in IT and Digital who benefitted by listening to experiences of our graduates. 


Graduation Award Winners

Tom Watkins

Tom was very productive throughout his Digital Marketing SASE apprenticeship. He completed all tasks on time and went above and beyond regarding his tasks and apprenticeship work.

Adam Merritt

Adam has integrated very well into his workplace and has kept in constant communication with us regarding his portfolio and completing tasks. Adam even completed work when he was on holiday over Christmas. Adam is an exceptional apprentice in terms of doing his job and setting time for his apprenticeship work.

Jeevan Boghul

Jeevan is first class. He not only completed all tasks, he stays in constant communication, he is an asset to his business and has produced quality apprenticeship work. Jeevan has been very productive during his apprenticeship and he is a great person to get along with. He has been a pleasure to work with throughout his apprenticeship.

Samuel Barker

Sam joined the apprenticeship scheme directly after leaving school following his GCSE exams even before receiving his results. Sam is one of, if not, the youngest apprentice we have supported on a level three apprenticeship programme to-date. When we first met Sam he had not yet experienced a lot of exposure to IT other than some general ICT at school and general gaming so his experience in technical IT was minimal. Sam also, as any young man starting their first full-time job straight from school would, (and I don’t think he’ll mind us saying) lacked confidence and hadn’t really experienced anything like this before so this was quite the transition for him working for a large organisation such as Taylormade. Despite Sam‘s age and lack of experience, he took to the role very well from the start integrating into the team at Taylormade very quickly and it wasn’t long before we all realised that we had a young lad here with great potential.

Liam Sharpe

Liam has progressed to studying the Level 4 Network Engineer programme straight after successfully achieving his level 3. He is continuing in his role at TekGem and advancing to the position of Infrastructure Engineer. Liam’s ambition and determination to achieve his full potential has continuously impressed us throughout both of his programmes. He is always constantly thinking “what next”. We also heard recently from Liam ‘s line manager Ian that since completing his level 4 Liam has continued to progress his knowledge and expertise in the area of security recently achieving various certifications such as:


  • SANS GICSP (global Industrial cyber security professional)
  • Acronis Sales Professional
  • Back-up Specialist
  • Acronis Backup Specialist
  • Acronis Certified Engineer
  • Fortinet Network Security Expert

Liam Sharpe (See below for more information on this winner)


Samuel Barker (See below for more information on this winner)


Apprentice of the Year

Throughout Liam’s programme he always maintained fifth gear momentum never seeming to slow down, always strived to produce the best evidence reports and working exceptionally hard preparing for his exams, which proved fruitful as he managed to achieve not only the minimum required knowledge modules but also an additional four vendor certifications with minimal support, a truly outstanding achievement.

This was shown through Liam’s exceptional endpoint assessment evidence, glowing employer reference and his two-hour interview. All of this resulted in Liam achieving a Distinction grade for his network engineer programme of which we’re sure he wouldn’t have settled for anything less. Liam is a true example that if you put your mind to it and work hard you really can achieve your goals and this is why we have chosen Liam as our Intequal Apprentice of the Year for 2019.

Liam said “It was a fantastic surprise to find out that I’d won. I took my girlfriend and mum to the event in Birmingham and it was lovely to see their reactions too. It was a really nice event and a little bit overwhelming to discover I’d won.”

Accredited: https://www.tekgem.co.uk/blog/


Rising Star Award 

Sam’s apprenticeship wasn’t a walk in the park. He found some aspects of the apprenticeship quite difficult especially working on a service desk communicating with customers over the phone and he also struggled with the networking elements of the programme. But being Sam, he did not lack enthusiasm or determination, he did not let anything set him back and he persevered and passed all of his exams.

Sam went on to produce an exceptional portfolio and achieve the overall grade of Distinction on completion of his endpoint assessment, which was thoroughly deserved. We were honoured and extremely proud to have supported Sam throughout his apprenticeship and to hear that he is progressing within his role at Taylor-Made after securing a full-time contract. This is why we have chosen Sam as Intequal’s Rising Star of the Year 2019. We truly believe he is an exemplar apprentice for young adults wishing to pursue their chosen career.

 Accredited to: Taylor Made Computer Solutions


Guest Speakers

Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity for staff and business alike. At the Council we will continue to throw our weight behind them, and recognise the achievements of apprentices across the city wherever possible.

Congratulations again on your achievements and I’d like to wish you all the best for your future endeavours. Well done!

Cllr Jayne Francis

Portfolio for Education, Skills and Culture , Birmingham Council House

Huge congratulations to you all for graduating today.

Not only have you set yourself apart from some of your peers by getting your career off on the right track, you have gained skills and experience that are highly prized by businesses. You will have worked as part of a team, learnt how to communicate with colleagues, developed a history of good timekeeping (I hope), understood the importance of a positive attitude and, above all, have something concrete to put on your CV. Do not underestimate or undersell these skills as you begin the next stage of your career. Ensure they feature in any applications you submit or on any social media platforms you use.

Calum Nisbet

Regional Director , The Institute for Directors (Iod)

Archive footage from previous ceremonies

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