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Just IT implements Aptem to deliver innovative apprenticeships

Stock photo of an Asian woman surrounded by computer monitors in a dark room

Just IT specialises in delivering apprenticeships, training and recruitment services. Since launching in 2001 they have trained thousands of candidates in IT, Digital and Development, delivering programmes such as Infrastructure Technician and Software Development. They place hundreds of young people into tech apprenticeships each year, and recruit for the tech industry.

James Fenton, Sales Director, describes what drives Just IT: “Our vision has always been to lead the market in innovating, informing, educating, and delivering the best recruitment, apprenticeship, training opportunities and service for our customers. We are extremely customer-centric. We deliver exceptional coaching and training and it is very important that the systems we use enable us to do this.

“Focusing on IT and Digital training in particular places an additional requirement on us to work with cutting-edge, innovative training delivery systems.”

Five years ago, Just IT operated a very face-to-face training delivery model, that served certain catchments across the country. Over time this model has evolved into a highly interactive online learning model, delivered nationally. 

In 2019, they began an internal project evaluating their systems across the business, specifically looking at effectiveness, duplication and impact on the end user. They wanted to be able to streamline the whole employer and learner journey digitally, rather than just the learning elements. They found that use of multiple systems was leading to client frustrations, as they were having to log onto different platforms to perform different tasks, and there were often issues with information not passing across and inaccuracies. Learners and employers were frequently working off different systems and there was little join up. It was also very challenging to manage multiple systems from an internal perspective.

Just IT talked to their existing providers about who could support an end-to-end system and broadened this brief out to external suppliers. Aptem was selected because the platform covered the majority of functionality required by Just IT and the interface was the most client-facing – suiting Just IT’s customer-centric approach.

Sam Tobin, Service Delivery Director at Just IT, described their requirements from the interface: “The look, feel and usability of the interface was a critical factor for us. The Aptem platform is essentially our customers’ experience of Just IT, since they are interacting with it daily, so it was essential that we selected a platform that felt like an extension of our brand. We also needed it to be accessible on mobile phones, tablets and desktop.”

Initially Just IT planned to delay their implementation when Covid-19 hit, due to concerns over investment, but the need to move quickly to a remote delivery model for elements like learner onboarding escalated the need for the Aptem platform.

“Thanks to Aptem, we were able to continue to deliver to our learners and employers remotely and this is something that we plan to continue to do, ongoing.” explained Robyn Harley, MIS and Funding Director at Just IT. “Of course, there was apprehension, onboarding a new system remotely, but we’ve found that the implementation sessions, held on Zoom, have been more effective than face-to-face. If we don’t have everyone at these sessions, the recordings enable us to catch up. These recordings have also been very useful to refer back to because there is a lot of information to take on, and alongside the manuals that Aptem produce, they have been an invaluable resource.”

Just IT, like all Aptem clients, were given a single point of contact at Aptem throughout the implementation process. This Implementation Consultant, liaised with various teams across Just IT. In addition, Just IT met internally every week to ensure they were on target to launch as planned.

“We launched exactly as per our project plan, with no delays. A key reason for our success was that we got everyone’s buy-in upfront – not just at a senior management level, but across the various teams that the system would affect, including Sales and Admin. The teams could see the purpose of onboarding Aptem and how it will save time and drive massive efficiencies for our business, so even though this was a very busy period for us and it could have easily been deprioritised, it wasn’t.” said Robyn.

Just IT already had the infrastructure in place, with twelve senior business people allocated Champion roles. These Champions were accountable for the overall project success and cascading information about the project and its progress to their teams. They also led the training on the platform, because of their expert knowledge and understanding of the platform, gained during implementation.

There are a number of things that Just IT really values about the Aptem Platform, but one of the principle drivers was the reporting. “The ability to produce insightful and easily digestible reports for our employers and their learners is one of our USPs,” explains Sam. “We run large cohorts and we need to be able to report at a macro and micro level. Aptem’s use of Power BI to generate visually impressive and insightful reporting has real business benefit to us and our customers.

“Additionally, the internal reporting that we now have access to via Aptem will support us to deliver programmes across multiple sites, driving our national presence.

“We wanted to source an intelligent end-to-end system, allowing technology to take on some of the admin tasks that our coaches previously spent a lot of time having to analyse. For example, learner engagement. Having a system that can prompt the coach if a learner is disengaging or at risk of missing a deadline, allows the coach to focus on delivering a quality learning experience.”

The ability to flex and customise the system for individual learner journeys, whilst knowing that these still meet the requirements of funding and regulatory bodies, was also a big advantage.

The Aptem Apprentice platform is continually updated, and clients can see and contribute to the pipeline of activity. Robyn and her team really value this, and it aligns with their own vision to continuously innovate for their customers. “We want to build in added value bespoke sessions for our learners, that aren’t necessarily covered by the standard, and Aptem will allow us to do this. We also want to develop the initial assessments for our learners to judge suitability for different programmes.”

“The Aptem team has been really supportive throughout. From thoroughly assessing our needs at the start of implementation, to being really flexible and happy to support last minute changes, this has been a real team effort. Our Implementation Consultant has been fantastic. We couldn’t have done this without her.”

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