Skills For The Future entrant – TMT First
It may have been the middle of a global pandemic but when TMT First struggled to find suitably skilled staff to meet its needs it decided to launch its own training academy.
The Staffordshire-based technology lifecycle company had encountered a skills shortage within its field nationally as well as locally.
The TMT First Samsung Training Academy opened in January 2021 to teach the skills needed, create jobs and open up a pipeline of trained technicians to allow for the expansion of its repair and processing operations.
The academy has given people the opportunity to work in the mobile technology industry without needing any specific prior experience. All the company asks for is a keen attitude towards learning, a genuine interest in mobile devices and technology as well as a good mindset and work ethic.
Participants learn all about the theory and systems used to repair mobile devices. They then learn all the practical elements of repairing devices from inspecting and taking them apart to what tools to use. Their learning covers everything from flow processes and replacing components to working with motherboards and electronics as well as assembly to disassembly. The trainees are monitored throughout the process and their learning evaluated with regular competency testing and exams.
Over the last two years the academy has provided regular cohorts of a four-week intense training scheme in which the future technicians are trained to the highest industry standard and on completion receive a Samsung authorised accreditation plus a guaranteed job.
So far 19 cohorts have completed the training and 67 new repair technician jobs have been created along with many other positions in supporting roles. The academy will continue to operate indefinitely, providing bespoke training, industry learning and job opportunities for the local community.
TMT First was the first and is still the only company to invest in the creation of a bespoke training academy of this type to fill the specific skills gap in this market.
Academy graduate Daliana Bianca said: “I’d always had an interest in technology but no direct experience. I saw an advert for the academy and successfully applied. There was definitely a lot to learn, and I felt overwhelmed at the start as it was all so new.
“You start at the beginning, looking at all parts of a device, gradually building on your learning so that by the end of the training you can repair a device by yourself.
“There was always lots of support and the trainers were fantastic. They were patient and helped us at every step.
“I really enjoyed it and as soon as I graduated, I was offered a role as a level one mobile phone technician. It was scary starting to work by myself but there was always help and my confidence soon grew.
“I’ve since been promoted to a level two engineer. I have more responsibility and it’s given me the chance to help others. These learning opportunities have had a tremendous impact on my life – it’s meant I’m now working in a completely new sector which I enjoy, and it’s given me career progression opportunities.”
TMT First’s founder, Adam Whitehouse, is calling for a Digital Device Repair Technician Apprenticeship to be set up nationally and rolled out to ensure a pipeline of trained technicians is created to support the industry.
TMT First has entered the Skills for the Future category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.