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ApprenticeshipPixel Kicks takes on its first apprentice from UA92’s brand-new Level 4 DevOps Engineer...

Pixel Kicks takes on its first apprentice from UA92’s brand-new Level 4 DevOps Engineer Apprenticeship programme

Pixel Kicks, the Manchester-based full-service digital agency, has appointed one of the first apprentices from University Academy 92’s (UA92) brand-new Level 4 DevOps Engineer Apprenticeship programme. The higher education institution, based in Old Trafford, started assessing applicants in November for intake alongside Pixel Kicks.

Kenan Marshall is now undertaking one day a week on-campus learning at UA92 and four days at Pixel Kicks where he is gaining degree level knowledge and skills and on the job practical experience. The apprenticeship will take up to two years to complete, at which point Kenan will have the chance of becoming Pixel Kick’s first full-time DevOps Engineer. 

The apprenticeship will cover a range of core elements including cloud server installation, configuration and optimisation; server analytics and reporting; website security and maintenance; website testing and content population using various different CMS platforms; liaising with clients; and helping to build internal tools to improve and automate processes. He will also help to support the agency’s underlying technology and infrastructure, including software and systems.

After graduating with a Human Geography degree from Leeds Beckett University, Kenan, 23, discovered a passion for tech, but found it hard to break into the industry so he decided to upskill by taking a Level 3 DevOps Apprenticeship course which funded by the UK Government. That gave him a fundamental understanding of DevOps methods, automating processes, cloud platforms and programming which made him eligible for the UA92 Level 4 DevOps Apprenticeship programme.

Commenting on his apprenticeship, Kenan said: “I am really excited to be part of the programme as it is providing me with a fantastic blend of learning and work experience. Having access to UA92’s Digital Academy facilities – including a VR/AR lab, a fully immersive 360-degree Igloo learning space, flex-tech classrooms and digital media suites – whilst simultaneously working on live client briefs at Pixel Kicks is amazing. I’m now laser focused on developing my skillset and making the most of every opportunity.”

Chris Buckley – MD of Pixel Kicks – added: “As a business we were delighted to partner with UA92 on the creation of this apprenticeship programme. It is a fantastic mix of onsite and industry-based learning that is perfectly instep with the tech ecosystem. It will also help to equip participants with the knowledge and skills that will help them flourish. Kenan is already adding value to the business and we are confident he will become an integral member of the Pixel Kicks team over the coming months.”

Sara Prowse – CEO of UA92 – said: “Preparing our students for employment is at the core of what we do at UA92, so the introduction of our digital apprenticeship programme is another exciting phase of development for us. We’re working extremely closely with our industry partners to deliver these degree-level courses to co-create the content, ensuring it’s modern, relevant and keeps pace with the ever changing and evolving tech landscape, ensuring that our students are well equipped for the world of work, now and in the future. 

“This is part of our ongoing strategic plan to ensure we are offering courses at the cutting edge of tech which upskill and plug the digital skills gap. Degree-level apprenticeships are a brilliant start to a career, equipping people with the right knowledge and skills while they develop in their roles. We’re delighted to be working with Pixel Kicks from the outset and look forward to welcoming our new cohort of apprenticeship students soon.”

UA92 expects to open up 40 digital apprenticeship opportunities over the current academic year, with further brands coming on board in 2023. As part of the course, students will be able to access the very latest technology and a tailored learning programme specifically built to the needs of the business they will work for. The facility is also planning to introduce a Master’s level AI apprenticeship course.

Olivia McHugh
Olivia McHugh
Staff writer
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