Rapid development of young software stars at Leeds automotive data company

Wesley Spellman, Alex Maughan, Zahid Rahman and Holly Anusic.
Wesley Spellman, Alex Maughan, Zahid Rahman and Holly Anusic.

Sian Gabbidon might be the talk of the town following her triumph on the latest series of The Apprentice.

But the Leeds-based swimwear brand owner isn’t the only bright young thing going places in the city.

A group of four software development apprentices at automotive data and technology business cap hpi are currently also winning plaudits for their work and ideas.

The rising stars are Zahid Rahman, 19, from Leeds, Alex Maughan, 24, from Harrogate, Wesley Spellman, 19, from Huddersfield, and Holly Anusic, 21, from Bingley.

They started at Leeds-based cap hpi in March as part of a scheme run in conjunction with IT apprenticeship provider Estio Training.

The four are now well on the way to earning Level 3 City & Guilds qualifications this May, with the added possibility of landing full-time junior developer roles at cap hpi.

And the company’s senior development manager, Helen Wright, couldn’t be happier with the impact made by the apprentices. She said: “They’ve flourished working in a live working environment and we’re really excited to see how they continue to progress.

“We already have great teams of talented developers working in the business who are the ideal mentors for the apprentices and to see them integrating so seamlessly is very rewarding.

“We established our software development apprenticeship scheme to specifically overcome problems we faced in recruiting developers with the necessary skills to work in the dynamic automotive tech sector.

“In developing an apprentice scheme which provides on the job training with real live projects carried out by dedicated teams, we are able to put a great learning framework in place for the apprentices.

“Over halfway in, the apprentices are performing very well and have impressed everyone with their enthusiasm and willingness to learn. They have thrived under the scheme and coped with the pressure well.

“The growth in confidence levels has been astounding and they’ve all adapted well individually and as a cohesive team.”

Apprentice Alex said: “I have worked with two of cap hpi’s in-house development teams and I’m now approaching the end of my placement with the third. Over this time, I have gained much more of a feel for the day-to-day life of a software developer and it’s safe to say I’m really enjoying it, working on challenging real-time projects which have given me more of a taste of what it is like and what it takes to be a software developer.

“It’s a fantastic skills learning experience and I’m really looking forward to seeing how my career progresses as a fully fledged junior developer in May.”

Fellow apprentice Holly added: “I was a personal trainer previously so this has been a radical departure for me but I’m loving every minute.

“We are all enjoying our experience here at cap hpi and now we have moved between a few teams we feel like we are all becoming more and more a part of the business.

“The development team rotation system has given us a really good insight into the different teams and products within the business in a relatively short period of time.

“Looking at the package as a whole, we all feel very lucky.”

The Yorkshire Evening Post runs a regular Digital City column in partnership with Sky Betting & Gaming.

The platform aims to highlight the giant strides being made by a sector that boasts around 3,000 organisations in Leeds.