So you’re obviously reading this because you’re considering an Apprenticeship with Virgin Media. All I can tell you is go for it. Seriously. I have just completed my 12 month apprenticeship as a Field Technician and it has been an amazing year.
First of all let me give you a little bit of my background. I worked in care for various years as well as in broadcast in various roles. You’ll notice neither of those jobs are particularly technically heavy. It’s fair to say that my technical knowledge was “OK” but nowhere near Technician level. And that’s ok, that’s perfect in fact because it enabled Virgin Media to teach me the skills they wanted me to know. Without any “bad habits” picked up over the years from previous jobs. As long as you’ve got good customer service, know how to speak to people with respect and have an active interest in the technical side of things then fill that application form in, You can be taught the skills you need for the job ahead.
You’ll probably read a bit about what the job entails on the other parts of this website, so I’m not going to talk about that. I want to tell you about all the other things that go with an apprenticeship within Virgin Media. I want to give you a little taster of the great things I’ve done this year and the great things you can look forward to if you are successful in your application.
Over the course of the year I have gone into schools, colleges, universities and workplaces talking about the benefits of apprenticeships. For me, I wanted to join the apprenticeship scheme because so many employers want both the relevant qualifications and the experience to go with them. It’s very difficult to get both of these things. Not with an apprenticeship. Across the time you’re learning you’re also getting the vital experience you’ll need to further progress your career. Perfect!
Amongst these talks that myself and the other apprentices did, there was one in particular that stood out. It was an event at Solihull College in Birmingham. Myself and a couple of other apprentices as well as our managers had gone along to an event that was being held to show other businesses what Virgin Media were doing for apprentices and share ideas. This event was slightly different to the others we had been to however, as at this event was the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nick Clegg. He was more than happy to stop and chat to us about the great things we were doing at Virgin Media and we even had time for a quick photo.
Amongst the talks and pictures being taken with high profile politicians we also took part in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge. This is a challenge held every year to find the best team of apprentices in the country. We had to raise money for charity and raise awareness for apprenticeships. In the end we raised over £8000 for Help Harry Help Others, which is a local charity in Birmingham started by an inspirational young boy called Harry Moseley who made bracelets to sell to raise money for children suffering from cancer. As part of this money raising we held a charity car wash day at the Birmingham Virgin Media HQ, we attended a celebrity football match at the home of Birmingham City FC; St Andrews, we also renovated a local youth centre. I’m pleased to say that after the hard work we’d put in we were named as finalists in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge where we spent three days in the Lake District competing against 7 other teams in challenges such as rowing across Lake Windermere, orienteering and puzzle solving. We didn’t win this year but it was the first time we had reached the finals so hopefully you and your team will do what we couldn’t do, become the Brathay Apprentice Challenge Champions!!
I could talk for hours about everything else I have done over the last year (no, seriously) but I don’t want to ruin the surprises and the experiences you could be having yourself when you apply.
If I could give you any advice to take with you over the next year it’s enjoy every minute of it. You’ll do things that you never dreamt of, learn things you’ll remember forever and experience things that will shape your future. On a personal level, I have met a group of people who are more than just work colleagues…they are friends. Friends who have spent the last year going through the same amazing experiences as me and some different ones too.
The future is seriously bright for Virgin Media and I am glad that I made the decision to fill in that application form just over a year ago.