THOSE looking for an IT apprenticeship should look no further than Basingstoke ITEC.

The learning centre, based at Telford House, on the Houndmills Estate, 10 minutes walk from Basingstoke town centre, has just the course for those who want to develop an exciting IT career.

On offer is a City and Guilds qualifi-cation called IT, Software, Web & Tel-ecoms Professionals Level 3.

It takes around 18 months to complete the course, which is flexible enough to accommodate almost any IT role, whether it is building computers or designing websites.

Such is the faith that the centre has in its apprentices that its well-equipped training room has an impressive array of computers built by its learners.

Established over 25 years ago, Basing-stoke ITEC helps around 50 young people from around the borough and the surrounding area gain employment every year.

And recently, it received a Grade 1 outstanding assessment from Ofsted for ICT – Information and Communications Technology.

Equally as impressive, the centre has Investor in People Gold accreditation, and also enjoys an outstanding success rate of 90 per cent for training and find-ing people employment.

“All of our learners that initially come on site are unemployed, aged 16 to 18 and are school or college leavers,” said the centre’s manager Caroline McColl.

“The bottom line is that while the City and Guilds course that we run here is a technical IT course, on top of that it’s really a full employability course as well.

“Here we’re also offering telephone skills, interview skills, advising on how to dress, look and speak. So in effect we are training our learners to get a job.”

Noting that employers often have very high expectations in what is a very competitive market, Caroline said a lot of college leavers who attend Basing-stoke ITEC may well have a qualifica-tion, but they are not necessarily prepared for a job. “A third of our programme is probably getting them ready for work,” she explained Caroline added that most people come to the training centre with fair English and maths competence, but there is always room for improvement.

Basingstoke ITEC also offers other vocational courses including Business Administration and Customer Service.

“We can confidently say to an employer that we have got people to an employability level and they are ready to work,” said Caroline.

A key feature of Basingstoke ITEC is that it actively helps young people to find gainful employment – not an easy task in the current economic climate.

“This might start as a short work placement leading to employment,” said Caroline, who added the apprentices continue studying while working until the course is completed.

Among the employers who have taken on apprentices from Basingstoke ITEC are Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Bang Creative, Document Dispatch and Gas Safe Register, Hammer and Pacific Solutions “We think a major contribution to our strength is that all our employers really look after their apprentices.” said Caroline.

To find out more about Basingstoke ITEC, you are invited to attend their open evening on Wednesday, February 27 from 5pm to 6.30pm.

Visit or call 01256 471161.