Over the past year, Conestoga Waterloo Campus Job Connect Program worked with CAPTEC Americas Inc. in Kitchener to support an apprentice role for a Hardware Technician. This was a first for both the College and the Apprenticeship Branch of MTCU. Never before had MTCU signed on a registered apprentice in this field, stated Gilbert Boileau, Apprenticeship Consultant.
While "Information Technology Hardware Technician" has been designated as an apprenticeship in Ontario for some time, IT firms prefer to hire through the traditional method of recruiting that is, hiring someone with the "education and knowledge to do the job". Not so for CAPTEC Americas Inc., whose Head Office is located in Great Britain. CAPTEC is a global supplier of rugged industrial computer systems who design, manufacture and supply best value industrial computers that can withstand demanding, extreme , hostile conditions, while remaining completely reliable. Using extensive in-house facilities and design capabilities, they have been delivering individually tailored solutions that meet their customers specific requirements for over 20 years.
Originally from Great Britain, Joe Phelps, Technical Operations Manager and Andrew Nightengale, Purchasing Manager, started the Kitchener division in Feb 2006. Hiring an apprentice just seemed the natural way to proceed following the success of similar schemes in the UK that led to the company being awarded the prestigious "Investors in People Accreditation". Joe Phelps stated "Having completed a similar scheme some 12 years ago myself in the UK, I can see first hand the benefit of such schemes for both the company and the employee. The key is to have the right attitude and work ethic. If these attributes are in place then Captec is a company that can present great opportunities".
And just who is that fortunate young man who was in the right place with the right people? Meet Mark Cairns, Apprentice Hardware Technician. Believe or not, Mark had limited computer knowledge and experience before joining Captec. He had worked in a call centre and demonstrated excellent customer service and interpersonal skills. He brought an excellent work ethic, positive attitude, showed initiative, and a willingness to learning. Mark has been working with CAPTEC since the middle of August 2008. Over this time, he has gained a basic knowledge of computer components and become a valued member of the team. Mark states, I went from knowing nothing to feeling comfortable that I now possess a basic knowledge of components and Industrial Computers. Mark couldn’t be happier; he is doing something he loves in a career that is sure to take him places! With some 6420 hours required to complete his apprenticeship, Mark has his work cut out for him! We wish him every success and thank CAPTEC for their support.