Trackies To Tuxedo’s part 1 – An Apprentice Journey

Gateshead, UK – 17th March 2017

Trackies to Tuxedo’s – Rackstar Limited wins BRONZE for Best Employer at the App4England Apprenticeship Awards!

Rackstar Limited is an independent, Gateshead based, IT service and support provider with its own carrier neutral data centre which supplies flexible and affordable services to Corporates, IT Professionals and resellers across the UK. Providing leading IT Support services such as UK Based Service Desks, Cloud Computing, Data Centre Services and Expertise as a Service.

Rackstar are collaborating with Bowen Consulting on this flagship Trailblazer Apprenticeship Programme, delivering a robust and real-world learning programme for the apprentices. Bowen Consulting also won Silver at the App4England Apprenticeship Awards in the Best Small Contractor category.

Rackstar were accompanied by two apprentices to the App4England Apprenticeship Awards ceremony in London on 7th March, where the company received the Bronze award for Best Apprenticeship Employer. The apprentices later wrote about their experience.

Tyler wrote “When I first came to Rackstar, I was completely out of my depth. I was in a bad place in life, depressed, no motivation and more importantly I had just been released from jail and didn’t have a place to live. I wasn’t given the kind of support, hand-outs or help that some people get in life, which is partly due to the area I was brought up in. Because of this, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with my appearance or persona when I first arrived, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I strolled into Rackstar workplace with a brand-new Adidas tracksuit and Nike trainers thinking I was walking into an easy job until I saw other interviewees, their suits and smart shoes, the way they presented themselves and looked so at ease with everything.

I did what I thought was my best at the interview, only to realise in coming months that I didn’t scratch the surface of my capabilities at the time.

I was given an opportunity by Rackstar and their training provider (Bowen Consulting) on an eight week traineeship, during which my skills and knowledge were put to the test, reviewed and revised. During my traineeship, I learned skills, both technical and personal, that will help me in my life moving forward.

My employer was very supportive of me and helped me with customer service, cabling and answering phones along with many other aspects of our daily work life. The traineeship tutor ushered me through and provided help as soon as I asked. At the end of the Traineeship, I was awarded a place on the apprenticeship because of my hard work and efforts during the traineeship, I haven’t looked back since.

I now reside in my own flat which is 10 minutes walking distance from my workplace (big thanks to my employer for helping with this), I manage everything better now, life, money and even social situations.

Before I started with Rackstar, I had never left the North East of England. I have now been on three separate trips, the latter being a very glamorous black tie awards dinner in London, I also now own a tuxedo!

This apprenticeship has opened a whole new world of opportunities to me. I have already seen and done things that I never thought were possible. This is all thanks to the efforts of the Rackstar and Bowen Consulting staff.

I couldn’t be more grateful to anyone; I really do have an awful lot to thank them for.”

Ken Mosley, Rackstar’s Chief Technical and Operations Officer, said “We are fully committed to giving our apprentices the tools they need to help both the apprentices and the company grow. We try to develop our staff as people, as well as professionals. It’s always nice to hear that we are benefiting young people who are struggling to make their way in today’s modern world.”

Andrew Bowen, AB Education Consultants said “It’s been a fascinating journey working with Rackstar, with AB’s Consultancy skills and Rackstar’s Technical skills, this programme is now one of the flagship Trailblazer Apprentice Programmes in North East England.”

For media information:

Ken Mosley, Chief Technical and Operations Officer, Rackstar Limited, 0191 349 8390,

Andrew Bowen, Director, AB Education Consultants Limited, 07507 557 345,