At the age of 17, I struggled between the decision of going to university or entering full time work, neither of which stood out strongly as I had no idea what to study or the type of career I would have liked to enter.
During my final year as an A-level student, I decided against going to university with the view that I could apply when a subject/career field stood out to me, however four years after completing my A-levels I felt bored and un-challenged in a role that didn’t suit me.
I applied for an apprenticeship at Virgin Media because the idea of learning a new skill is something I’ve always found appealing, and the company brand is exceptional in the work place environment; however it also meant that I was able to work, study and still keep my social life lively, something that my friends sometimes struggled with at university. I would recommend anyone to consider applying for an apprenticeship, not only are they fun, but they’re also a great stepping stone into any company.
During my first week at Virgin Media, myself and other new apprentices spent a week at the training centre in Birmingham, here we were introduced to the company , its values and an overview of what our roles as Access Planners would be like.
Admittedly at first I thought a full week of training for a new company away from home would be scary, however everyone there was so friendly and welcoming and the training wasn’t daunting or tedious, it was actually fun and lively. Throughout the next 18 months of my apprenticeship, I completed various training tasks which included task books and coursework, shadowing our mentors and various people in the company, taking part in specific job related software training programs away from home and being highly trained by other colleagues in my office.
Virgin Media apprenticeships aren’t just a solid eighteen months of training, for example last year I took part in a charity project called ‘Brathay’ which aims to promote apprenticeships to school children.
During the Brathay project, other apprentices and I had to visit schools and talk about the benefits of apprenticeships, and hold fundraising events to raise money to re-design a school computer room.
Myself and another apprentice called Jemma decided to make sweet bags to sell around the company, during this time we met directors within the business and had a meeting with them speaking about the project and how apprenticeships are beneficial for the company. The pictures below are from the Brathay project with one of our directors Maurice Daw.
There have been many highlights during my apprenticeship with Virgin Media, however my favourite is the first time I completed a job indepednenly as I felt that my training had really paid off.