T&I have brought in graduates since 2010 and placement students since 2013. What’re the benefits of now bringing in apprentices too?
Our network is our most important asset and planning and building it for our future years is one of the most important things we do as a team, with the usage of the internet continuing to grow by around 40% per year, therefore, the capacity is more vital than ever. As a result, I thought this would be great to look at developing our own resource skills to ensure we have the people capacity with the correct skills to grow our ever increasing network.
There is a national shortage of people with the appropriate STEM skills, and 20,000 fewer graduates every year than is needed. We need to look at different ways to build the critical skills we need, and apprenticeships make perfect sense. They are highly engaged, motivated and the learning is flexible and can be tailored to our business which is great and aligns with our core offerings which are not readily available to learn externally. Our apprentices will become our future technical experts and hopefully, some of them will become leaders too!
Apprentices are key to our resourcing strategy and pipeline to reduce and control the cost of securing people with the unique skill set we need. If we develop and build the capability now to support future needs, this will reduce our long-term resource costs.
What myth busters do you think we have conquered as a business?
From hearing the live stream during national apprenticeship week, it really raised the awareness that there is such a wide range of apprenticeships which exist and at so many levels. We’ve introduced network engineer and data analyst apprentices to our teams, but are also considering how we could potentially use degree and masters level engineering based apprenticeships as well as exploring opportunities for other technical apprenticeships to continue to build our future capability.
What are you most proud of?
The number of apprentices we have developed and provided nationally recognised qualifications for in the business. I’m so passionate about developing those early in career and to see how well they’ve progressed is amazing. I’m really excited to bring in our new apprentices, continue to work on developing further apprentice opportunities and be part of the apprentice programme success story.