Bright sparks engineer path to career success

A north-east IT specialist is giving two talented youngsters the chance to follow in the boss’s footsteps.

Westhill-based Xtreme Business Solutions, which designs, supplies and instals a wide range of IT systems for clients across Scotland, has already taken on two promising young apprentices this year and has pledged to hire two more as support for the Press and Journal’s Apprentice 100 campaign.

The firm was established in 2003 by managing director Graeme Duncan, who began his career as an apprentice electrical engineer.

Mr Duncan said: “When I left school just before my 16th birthday, I never imagined that, one day, I would be running my own company. I would have taken any apprenticeship, so I could have been a plumber or a joiner if the opportunity had arisen.”

It is this experience of apprenticeships that has led him to be a passionate advocate and embed apprenticeships as a cornerstone of Xtreme’s recruitment policy.

Tomasz Duncan

In the past 12 years, it has employed 17 school leavers as data and fibre engineers, all of whom have completed an NVQ. The majority of apprentices are still working for the firm, some overseas. Apprenticeships are a family affair for the Aberdeen businessman as his 18-year-son Tomasz has joined the company.

As one of the apprentices already taken on by the firm this year, Mr Duncan jnr, has set his sights on becoming a fibre optic engineer.

He is combining practical on-the-job experience with a college course in electrical engineering and will gain a SCQF level 6 National Certificate in the subject.

He said: “University wouldn’t have been the right route for me, so it’s brilliant that I’ve been able to get my qualifications while working as an apprentice.

“As a trainee data engineer, I am building up knowledge by learning from practical situations and projects, and I am getting paid while I learn, which is great.

Apprentice positions will be available early next year.

To apply, send your CV to managing director Graeme Duncan:

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