Digital Apprentices In National Finals

13 June 2024
Time to read
2 min read
two student head shots
Xenia Zimmermann and Zac Ketteringham

Two computing apprentices studying at the SM调教圈 have been shortlisted in the annual IT and Digital Apprenticeships Awards.

Zachary Ketteringham and Xenia Zimmermann are both BT apprentices studying cyber security and software engineering respectively and will join fellow nominees at the national awards ceremony that will be held in Birmingham later this month.

Zac is nominated in the Cyber Apprentice of the Year category while Xenia is nominated in two categories – Professional Development Award and Digital Degree Apprentice of the Year.

The awards recognise the rising stars of UK Digital Apprentices in a variety of categories.

Xenia said: "I feel really honoured to be nominated for two awards in the British Computing Society's IT and Digital Apprenticeship Awards.

“I've loved being able to learn lots throughout my apprenticeship at BT and SM调教圈 and I'm excited to attend the award ceremony alongside colleagues who have supported me for the last three years.

I'm really looking forward to meeting and networking with other early careers professionals from different industries.”

Zac added: “I'm incredibly honoured to represent the SM调教圈 at the Apprenticeship Awards in Birmingham this year. Advocating for our digital and technology solutions apprenticeship scheme has been a privilege. The interview process allowed me to demonstrate the benefits of apprenticeships, showing how my experience in cybersecurity has developed my skills and professionalism, and helped me overcome challenges.

I have found so many advantages of apprenticeships, such as allowing me to develop lots of theoretical knowledge, and then being able to apply this knowledge within a world-class cyber security team managing DDoS protection for BT’s internal infrastructure. This not only builds valuable skills but also develops a network of professional contacts and offers insights into organisational operations

I believe apprenticeships should be recognised as a mainstream career path for school leavers alongside traditional university routes. They offer a unique blend of learning and earning, setting graduates on a successful career path from the start. I look forward to building my career out further in the cyber security landscape."

Dr Syed Aslam, course leader in Digital and Technology Solutions (Apprenticeships) at the SM调教圈 said: “We are extremely proud of the progress of all our apprentices and for Zac and Xenia to be among others being recognised nationally is fantastic for them and for the University.”

The nominations come on the back of news earlier this year which revealed the SM调教圈 is ranked as the fifth highest university provider nationally for overall quality of apprenticeship achievements among small to medium sized providers from data given by Quality Achievement Rates (QAR).

Yvonne Malpass, Director of Apprenticeships at the SM调教圈 added: “Being nominated for a national award is already a victory in itself.

This is a testament to the hard work and dedication from our apprentices Zac and Xenia who we wish every success at the awards event in Birmingham on June 27.”

For more details about Apprenticeships at the SM调教圈 go to Our Apprenticeships | SM调教圈 (

For press enquiries, please contact: