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Call for smartphone repair apprenticeship

by on24 February 2023

Take the control away from big tech

A UK outfit that fixes smartphones is calling for an official device repair apprenticeship.

TMT First introduced its own apprenticeship after struggling to find staff but is hacked off that there is no industry training standard. The outfit points out that there are less cars on the road  and mechanics learning on nationally recognised apprenticeships

The company thinks that there are lots of young techy people out there who perhaps have even tinkered around with phones at home themselves, and are really interested in how they can do this better, and maybe create a career out of it.

TMT First's Adam Whitehouse said: "If you think about the technology and all the devices in our homes today, those things need repairing. And when people are taught the correct way of doing that, these devices will last for longer."

He founded TMT First, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, in 2006. He says 58 members of staff have come through his firm's training courses so far and the company now offers its own apprenticeship.

There are no search results under "phone repair" on the website for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, a government agency.

The institute's deputy director, Nikki Christie, told the BBC there had not been sufficient industry interest.

"We would welcome renewed interest in the development of an apprenticeship for this occupation, as it has the potential to be a great entry point into digital careers," she said.

Mr Whitehouse said his was one of a group of organisations that had submitted a proposal before the pandemic, but several of them were no longer in business.

The Department for Education said the government planned to make £2.7 billion available by 2025 for businesses across all sectors to set up their own relevant schemes.

The question is how much support that such apprenticeships would get from Big Tech. The fruity cargo cult Apple makes a fortune out of its own repair business and is prepared to get into a fist fight if independent repair outfits compete.

The rise of the right to repair movement in the US and Europe has seen campaigners pushing the tech sector to help people to fix their devices themselves.


Last modified on 24 February 2023
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