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Pixel Kicks appoints its first UA92 apprentice

Aaron Saxton and Mollie Ward, UA92, with Pixel Kicks' Chris Buckley, Kenan Marshall and Tuhan Ahmet

Pixel Kicks 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.

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.”

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.”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.

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