Twin brothers who study at Wiltshire College & University Centre have been helping to provide IT equipment to those in need as part of a work placement in support of their studies.
Tom and Dan Saxby are currently enrolled on the Level 3 IT course at WCUC’s Trowbridge campus and are due to complete the first year of their two-year programme this summer.
As part of their course, the 17-year-olds have been taking part in a work placement at local IT Support company Priority IT.
Some of their placement work has involved helping out at Wiltshire Digital Drive – a Community Interest Company set up by Priority IT and two other local businesses, Naturally Social and Turner & Partners.
Wiltshire Digital Drive refurbish and recycle donated laptops to gift back to the community, enabling education and bridging the digital divide. As a not-for-profit organisation, every penny raised or device donated goes directly to support the Wiltshire community.
From April 2020 to May 2023, more than 2,400 laptops have been refurbished, recycled and gifted back into the local community, with schools, charities, organisations, councils and families from across Wiltshire all having benefited from the scheme.
Dan Saxby explained: “The placement was with Priority IT but they work with Wiltshire Digital Drive to provide IT equipment for those who need it. I really enjoyed doing it. It felt rewarding to fix and build laptops knowing they would be put to really good use.”
Tom Saxby added: “If we had something like a Chromebook it might go to refugee – maybe someone from Ukraine who has come here with nothing. And if then if we had a laptop, that would go to someone who would need it to help with their work or studies.”
Both brothers believe being able to replicate what they have studied at college in a workplace environment has enhanced their own skills and knowledge, as well as strengthening their desire to pursue a career in the IT industry.
Dan Saxby said: “It was good to take what we have done in the classroom with our lecturers and put it into practice in the workplace. I think that really helped to develop the skills we have been trying to learn.
“PC building is really fun and we have done a lot of that both in our class and on the placement, so that is something I will think about for the future – although any job working in IT would be a dream career.”
Wiltshire College & University Centre offer IT courses at the Chippenham, Salisbury and Trowbridge campuses.
PICTURE: Twin brothers Tom (left) and Dan Saxby