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</Meet Paul – an Institute of Coding learner who is saving his company £400,000 a year>

Published on 1 October 2019 by web editor

Case Studies

Paul Finch

It is common to think that once you have a full-time job, your education stops. At the Institute of Coding (IoC), we believe that learning is a continuous process that you can pursue at any stage of life.

Swansea University, one of the IoC’s partners in Wales, has created a degree apprenticeship in Applied Software Engineering that combines work and study. For Paul Finch, Systems Manager at EPS Construction Ltd, this apprenticeship was a chance to not only help improve his company’s IT systems, but develop his own digital skills.

Finding the right solution

With his background in IT, Paul knew that bespoke digital solutions could be developed to improve EPS’ financial systems. Yet without technical resources, there was little he could do to realise this vision for the business.

Paul came across the Higher Apprenticeship FdSc programme in Computer Science offered by Swansea University and the IoC, and made his manager aware that it could provide an opportunity to bring new digital skills to the company.

A tailor-made apprenticeship for all

Paul enrolled onto the Higher Apprenticeship programme, and, after successfully completing the programme, he moved into the final year of Swansea University’s BSc Degree Apprenticeship Programme in Applied Software Engineering.

Throughout the three-year programme, Paul interacted with fellow students from a wide variety of companies – from large organisations like the DVLA and Admiral Insurance down to micro-companies – all developing the same digital skill set. He told us:

“The 3-year apprenticeship programme has given me a wide range of skills which are applicable on a daily basis. For each of the 12 academic modules, we carried out a work-based mini-project that transfers the knowledge and skills acquired from that specific module directly into our company. Having such a programme which does this for the broadest variety of companies is a remarkable achievement.”

However, it was in his final year that he developed his most successful piece of software.

Creating dramatic impact

As his final project, Paul designed a bespoke piece of software which now forms part of EPS’ financial system. The software works by identifying and recovering contract variances. These variances can occur for a number of reasons, but mean that a company’s contract budget can change dramatically.

Already in partial deployment, the software has saved EPS £70,000, and Company Director Jonathan Fleming estimates that once fully deployed, it will save them £400,000 per year.

Through apprenticeships like Paul’s, we’re helping learners of all ages discover that higher education doesn’t end when you get a job, and showing employers that collaborations with educators can give them employees with the right digital skills.


To learn more about the IoC’s degree apprenticeships, visit our course catalogue.

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