daniel graves

TechPro fired up about apprentices

As a leading provider of AV services to live event agencies, the quality of our service is paramount and contributes significantly to the reputation we are building.

The quality of our services relies not just on the ability of our experienced project managers to consistently deliver over and above what our clients expect, or the quality assured equipment we specify from stock, but on the skills and can-do attitude of our technical teams.

Employ the attitude

Employ the attitude and train the skill has always been the ethos for TechPro. Whilst the technical roles delivering our audio, lighting and video services might be familiar to most, these are supported by a less obvious role, that of Returns Technician.

The role is currently occupied by Daniel Graves, who has been with TechPro for 14 months, having joined as an apprentice back in 2018. A member of the Operations team, he is responsible for ensuring all equipment returned to our warehouse is checked for any damage or faults.

Daniel undertakes the necessary stock-check of equipment and cables to ensure accuracy is maintained, whilst monitoring the team’s consumables.

He is our fourth apprentice and follows in the well-worn footsteps of those who have found permanent positions with us following the successful completion of their apprenticeships, which typically takes 12 months.

techpro apprentices

A tutor from Creative Alliance, an Independent Training Provider that operates as a social enterprise specialising in creative roles, comes in to see Daniel every 4-6 weeks to understand how he applies his learning to the role here at TechPro.

In addition to the functional skills he learns with Creative Alliance, Daniel is required to undertake practical tasks within the TechPro warehouse environment, like setting up a sound system, whilst observing the safe-working rules, to demonstrate his application of new skills.

This fundamental combination of classroom learning and acquired practical skills sits not only at the heart of the apprenticeship scheme, but the TechPro approach to growing a valuable team, with all the necessary skills, with an attitude that always puts our customers first.

It would be hard to create an apprenticeship just for our Returns Technician role, so the one we adopt is based on that used for similar technical roles in theatre, where lighting and audio play a major role.

Importantly, by working in a supportive learning environment, being mentored by experienced technicians who have benefitted from the same approach, ensures everyone understands the TechPro way of doing things – attention to detail and the highest quality in everything we do.

We recognise it is a tough induction; it is a complicated role, but one that introduces the individual to all aspects of our equipment, from cables and connectors to mixing desks and loudspeakers.

A path well-travelled

Audio Technician Nathan Ridley and Projects Co-ordinator Henry Pratt both joined us on the same apprenticeship, through our partner Creative Alliance and both started their careers in the role of Returns Technician.

An important aspect of the service provided by Creative Alliance, is their understanding of what TechPro is looking for, having worked with us for so long across a number of apprenticeships. They screen all applicants to ensure they find the ideal candidate; someone they know will fit our culture.

We believe that apprenticeships offer an alternative route into a very fulfilling career. One of the reasons we have so many applicants for the role, each time it is posted, is our retention rate and the clearly defined career path laid out before the candidates.

TechPro is a great example of a business with a strong working culture that understands the benefits of apprenticeships. They are not looking for cheap labour, but a way of finding and developing people with the skills they need to continue to build their business. There is a defined career path, with clear goals and this only strengthens the relationship between the apprentices and their employer; I wish we had more businesses like TechPro.James Ellis, Business Development Manager at Creative Alliance

This commitment to our apprentices and their careers ensures we develop valuable team members who are fully engaged with their role and understand the important part they play in the future growth of TechPro.

Our apprenticeship culture has nothing to do with Lord Sugar and everything to do with developing the workforce of the future, with the skills our business needs to help us ensure flawless delivery of live events for every client, every time.

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