Cornwall-based software developers Bluefruit has welcomed apprentices for a number of years, engaging with young people to help combat the skills shortage in the sector.
Bluefruit develops embedded software for high-end, specialist devices from microwaves all the way through to medical and laboratory equipment.
Set up 19 years ago as a one man band, Bluefruit has since grown to a team of 60 employees – including 30 software developers and a team of 15 software testers.
Finance Director Steve Forth said: “There are so many electronic devices that need software and it must not go wrong, so must be of the highest quality.
“There is a shortage of software developers in the market, so we do anything we can to engage with young people. We only take on apprentices if we think they will be employees at our company, we don’t want someone to come in as just cheap labour.”
Bluefruit has been employing apprentices for around four years, with its second tranche of three apprentices in the midst of a Level 4 Software Development apprenticeship.
Steve added: “The tech side is our primary goal at the moment, as that is where the shortage of skills is, although we have started of thinking about apprenticeships in other fields. Our ultimate aim is that 50 per cent of our employees are homegrown.
“We are a training company. The world of software is an organic thing, we have a great environment here where everyone is constantly learning. Our apprentices can ask questions or get help from anyone.
“Apprentices bring enthusiasm to our business, and that’s something that we particularly look for. I always tell young people to find a job they enjoy because it will make the world of difference. We can give them the skills to do the job, while they can bring the enthusiasm for the work.”
Elliot Paull, Level 4 Software Development apprentice at Bluefruit, said: “Working on an engaging real-world project within a close-knit team of talented individuals has been both satisfying and fulfilling. My apprenticeship at Bluefruit has filled me with confidence.”