An award-winning apprentice from Hull firm Paragon Data Services (PDS) has recently worked alongside a group of young creatives to get their new office up and running. Jordan Ayscough was taken on by PDS full time after finishing his apprenticeship and installed new equipment and data cabling for StrawberryToo, a creative marketing agency in Hull staffed entirely by graduates and apprentices.

Jordan has been with PDS for three years and during this time he completed a Level 3 apprenticeship in Insulation and Commissioning of Electronic Systems. In 2014 Jordan won Apprentice of the Year at the Hull Tech Campus and also won Humberside Apprentice of the Year. He is now helping to train his own apprentice, Connor Young, who worked with him on the StrawberryToo project.

Jordan said: “For StrawberryToo we tested existing data points, tidied up the cables on show and installed a projector, two PA speakers, an amplifier and media player that links up to speakers. Working with PDS has been a great experience so far. I’m now running my own projects and helping to train Connor. I’ve learnt a lot since I joined PDS and their support throughout my apprenticeship has been great.”

PDS is committed to taking on and training apprentices and felt Jordan would be the perfect fit for the StrawberryToo job, given the StrawberryToo team is made up of young professionals going through a training process like he did.

Iain Bland, Managing Director of PDS, said: “PDS has its roots in this type of work. We started out working on small installations and built our way up to working on large projects too. We still complete a high proportion of small jobs throughout the year and are always looking for new members of staff to help us facilitate the growth of the business.

“We offer apprentices two options when they join us – they can either come to us via the Council-run training scheme or they can follow our own mini apprenticeship scheme to become engineers. When StrawberryToo approached us to work on their office we knew Jordan was the man for the job. It’s great to work alongside another local company who is as committed to training Hull’s young talent as we are! We wish them the best of luck with the new agency.”

James Greenwood, Digital Director of StrawberryToo, commented: “We’re really impressed with the work PDS has done for us. We launched our recruitment drive at the end of summer 2014 and are now set up in our new office at The Maltings in Hull City Centre. We are passionate about helping to advance the careers of young creatives in our region and welcomed the opportunity to work with Jordan on the office set up. The end result looks great and we’re sure we’ll be working alongside PDS again in the future.”

StrawberryToo opened for business in late summer 2014 to employ, train and mentor local talent in a real working environment. StrawberryToo is a unique concept and will support Hull’s growing digital and design hub by encouraging creative graduates to stay in the area and develop “battle ready” marketing stars.

In 2014, Paragon Data Services achieved Safecontractor accreditation and became a Living Wage Employer. The company currently employs 30 people and has offices in Hull, Newbury and London. Paragon Data Services supplies a wide range of services, including data cabling, wireless networks, CCTV, public address and voice evacuation systems, audio visual systems and hearing induction loops.

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