Trackies To Tuxedo’s part 2 – An Apprentice Journey

Gateshead, UK – 27th 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.

Marc wrote “When I first joined Rackstar as a trainee; I had no experience in work at all. I grew up in a family with four children and was the youngest. Being the youngest you would expect me to have been given the most support but this generally wasn’t the case. I used to see myself as the ‘black sheep’ of the family and due this I ended up misbehaving in school and getting in with the wrong crowd.

Being in this crowd started a bad turn of events in my life. I was getting jumped every other week, getting suspended from school for losing my temper towards teachers. I was getting heavily involved in legal highs which on one occasion hospitalised me for four days, in and out of consciousness and almost ended my life. After this scare I thought to myself, ‘It’s time for a change’.

I began searching on Job websites to find an apprenticeship that I felt I would enjoy. As I have always had a strong passion and love for IT, I applied for numerous jobs around the north east specified on this topic. I had interviews with numerous companies and succeeded in none.

I started to lose faith in myself and that I had ruined my future until I got a reply from a Bowen Consulting. Dean asked if I would be able to come in for an interview on a specific date. Feeling that I had nothing left to lose I agreed to attend the interview.

I turned up at Rackstar for my interview and felt I didn’t stand a chance. They all looked extremely sophisticated and experienced in this type of Job and yet again I started to put myself down. I still attended the interview. After Dean interviewed me he told me that he was very impressed with me and asked if I could return to the building the next day to start.

I was shocked as this had never happened in any of my other interviews before! For once, I felt a sense of achievement in my life!

I completed a 2-month traineeship where I learnt the very basic skills needed for my job role. I also completed a Maths and English assessment being taught by Lloyd. At the end of the traineeship I was assessed by Rackstar and selected to join the apprenticeship.

During my time on the apprenticeship so far, I have overcome many personal challenges, including some of those at home. My employer has helped me every step of the way with these challenges and helped develop me into a better person! I feel like I have matured a lot, especially since I am currently only 17!

Looking back to where I was before, compared to now makes me realise how big of a step I have taken in just 7 months! I can now proudly say that I have attended an awards dinner in London and even own a Tuxedo! This is somewhere I never thought I’d see myself in a million years and I couldn’t be happier with my employer and colleagues.

I am extremely grateful for all the support given by Rackstar and Bowen Consulting!”

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,