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Billy Clackers - apprenticeship case study 

Level 3 Software Apprenticeship and Levels 4,5,6 Chartered Management Institute Degree

Billy Clackers

Billy Clackers has been with Invotra since 2011.

I joined Invotra in June 2011, as one of two of their very first apprentices! Before joining, I had very little technical knowledge, I didn’t even know what HTML or CSS were, so it was very much starting from scratch for me. One thing I was sure of is that I didn’t want to go to university, and I wanted to do an apprenticeship. I’d studied ICT at college, alongside accounting and business, and had always been really interested in computers, so software development seemed a natural fit.

I completed my Level 3 Software Apprenticeship in 2012 and started working in the testing team. Following this, I then moved on to lead our site building team for roughly 2 years whilst also progressing into becoming the lead Business Analyst. 

At this point, I was reporting into someone who taught me a lot about business analysis and I soon realised I was more naturally suited to that rather than the technical side of development and coding. In July 2014, I became the Product Manager. 

Every two weeks, we do a new release of the product, and I’m responsible for deciding exactly what that release contains in terms of new features, bugs that need fixing, better functionality etc. Every other Friday, my team communicates these plans to the whole business, asking for input and feedback. Once everything is agreed, we work with our technical team to do the necessary development for the next release. It is quite unusual for an intranet or digital workplace platform to have such frequent releases, but it’s one of our clear points of difference, and it makes my job very interesting.

Over the next couple of years, I gradually started managing a team. Jumping forward to 2018, I was managing 4 members of the product team and also took ownership of our QA team which has 7 members. It was during this year that I also decided to start a degree in Chartered Management. By April of this year, I would have completed Level 4. 

Another hugely significant thing to happen in 2018 is I was offered a fantastic opportunity to join a Senior Management Team within Invotra. I’m looking forward to taking on more responsibility and having a larger involvement with decision making at a strategic level across the whole organisation. 

My longer-term goal is to be on the board of Invotra. I feel confident that I’ll achieve my ambitions, as Invotra is a company where you’re really supported to reach your potential. 

Find out more about apprenticeships with Invotra or read more case studies from other Invotra apprentices here: National Apprenticeship Week 2020.