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Synergy Learning Celebrates Learning at Work Week

  • To mark this year’s celebration of Learning at Work Week (15th – 20th May 2023), Lead UX (User Experience) Developer from Northern Ireland-based learning technology company Synergy Learning is sharing his story of rising through the ranks from Front-End Developer to Lead UX Developer.

    Learning at Work Week is a national event celebrated annually, run by the charity Campaign for Learning. The charity works with organisations across the UK to form campaigns and activities to promote a learning culture within organisations.

    The theme of Learning at Work Week 2023 is ‘Create the Future’ and will explore how learning at work can help employees achieve life and work goals, driving innovations and ambitions.

    Stephen Sharpe from Lurgan joined Synergy Learning in 2016 as a Front-End Developer and has climbed the ladder to his current role of Lead UX Developer. After seven years at Synergy Learning, Stephen has developed a various range of new skills through the company’s many training and development opportunities and continues to develop and nurture those skills. Synergy Learning provides a range of training programmes including leadership and management courses through Beckinridge and PRINCE2 project management certifications.

    In 2010, Stephen left university to become a full-time freelancer in web design and development. Working for himself and on his own, Stephen wanted to enhance his skills and learn from people who have similar interests in web design and decided to explore the possibility of a team-based role.

    Stephen said: “After six years working in a freelance role, I was noticing that some months were great financially, but others were not, and I became more aware that I needed a stable income.

    “I got married in 2016 and that’s when I made the decision to find a career where I could be financially stable while increasing my development in web design. That’s when I found Synergy Learning and I’ve loved it ever since.”

    Stephen’s current role as Lead UX Developer allows him to work on developing learning platforms for organisations like the NHS, Save The Children and Ryanair. Stephen also mentors and trains his team and helps his colleagues to excel in their roles.

    Speaking on what he enjoys about his role at Synergy Learning, Stephen said: “There is a sense of belonging at Synergy Learning and you’re always a valued member of the 1Team. The company really cares about its employees.”

    Speaking on the career support he has had at Synergy Learning, Stephen said: “Coming from a freelance background, it felt like a big step for me going from working on my own to working with a group of designers and developers. I didn’t know what the process of working in a commercial environment was and I had to readjust. The Synergy Learning 1Team was incredibly supportive and acknowledged that I was making this huge adjustment.

    “As I progressed from senior to lead, opportunities became available along the way to get involved in management and leadership training. The leadership team highlighted what courses I could benefit from and gave me the opportunity to go for it.”

    For anyone wanting to develop their careers further and take part in on-the-job training, Stephen said: “Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. I was always the one with the questions, silly or not, and would get an immense amount of support from my colleagues and superiors. There will always be space for people to grow and to nurture their new skills. It’s just a case of reaching out to your colleagues.”

    Synergy Learning's Head of People, Performance & Culture, Tory Kerley, said: “At Synergy Learning, we pride ourselves in providing the best learning opportunities for our 1Team and, in turn, a great service to our customers. We love having Stephen on the team, and he brings great enthusiasm and expertise to his role. We hope his story will inspire others in 1Team and beyond to enrich and advance their own careers through training and development programmes. He models the benefit of grasping new opportunities, and we look forward to his impressive skills and career continuing to flourish at Synergy Learning."

    Synergy Learning has recently been named as one of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses and recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s Top 100 Tech Companies. These accolades followed several recent customer wins for the company, including the World Trade Organisation and Hyundai Motor Europe and a headquarters move to the new collaborative Hub located at the Catalyst Innovation Centre in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

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