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Starting an Apprenticeship in 2023

February 6, 2023

Thinking of starting an apprenticeship in 2023? We’ve got everything you need to know to make sure you’re making the right decision. From quizzes to stories from our apprentices, we want to back you along your journey in propelling your career.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a paid job that allows you to gain real-life experience while working and studying towards a professional qualification. A lot of people think apprenticeships are for hands-on roles, or that employers don’t value them as much, but that’s just not the case.

We’re recruiting for a range of apprenticeships all year round, ranging from customer-facing roles, such as Field Engineers and Network Engineers, and technical roles, such as Data Engineers or IT Developers, to office-based roles, such as Analysts, Digital Marketing and Project Management. There really is an apprenticeship for everyone.

In the past, apprenticeships have been shown in a more negative light, with university being understood as the best route for progression. In recent years, schools, students and employers have all been re-educated to understand what apprenticeships actually are and their benefits, which is making them a much more popular route!

How to find the right apprenticeship for you

So, you’re interested in starting an apprenticeship, but you’re not sure which one? We’ve built a short quiz to help you find the perfect scheme for you. You’ll be able to answer a few short questions based on what your interests are before we pair you with a Virgin Media O2 apprenticeship that suits you. Ready to give it a go? Take our quiz!

Aleksandra’s story

Want to learn more about our apprenticeships? We spoke to Aleksandra, a Provisioning Engineering Apprentice that is currently studying towards a Level 4 Network Engineering qualification, to understand what attracted her to the scheme and get an insight into the application process. Here’s what she had to say…

“During my first week, I was a ball of stress. I joined as a Network Engineer Apprentice and quickly realised I was the only female in my team. It’s a very technical role, and I was worried that guys in my team will not take me, a 5”2 woman, seriously. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I was part of the team whether that meant work duties or team evenings out. One situation stands out in my mind, where I realised that mentors wanted me to succeed as much as I wanted to myself, and they were proud of my progress!

I was navigating a task for one of my colleagues and my mentor turned to another colleague and said, “Look how comfortable she is with the systems already. I knew it.” This is one of my favourite things about Virgin Media O2, I have all the support I need to succeed. At team socials, in the spirit of highlighting total equality, my colleagues did not let me off easy on go-karting night! Not to worry, I am already planning my revenge on the next social: the paintball range 😊 “

“I remember the application process very well. The Situational Judgement Test is something I can’t say much about. I know I passed it, but it just seemed to me to be an algorithm: don’t be a hero who can sort everything on your own, and don’t be a villain leaving others to their own devices.

The Telephone Interview was a very familiar step for me. I researched Virgin Media O2, to make sure I can reference facts about the company in my answers. The convenience of the phone interview is the interviewer could not see me. I backed up my answers with my notes. By far the easiest step for me!

Next is the Coaching call, and the recruiter was so helpful. Poor Tom spent over an hour with me, he surely drew a short straw that day!

The Assessment Centre was…what I dreaded the most. This was the step I failed on my previous application attempt. Again, I went back to my notes with possible interview questions, but this time I practiced by talking to plush toys, just as if I was being interviewed by someone. I have to say that I remember the Welcome session from the Assessment Centre to this day, Mickey Robson did a great job taking the edge off.”

Rachel’s Story

We also spoke to Rachel, a Principal Build Engineer Apprentice that is currently studying towards a Level 3 Civil Engineering qualification, to understand what life at Virgin Media O2 is like and how she found the apprenticeship scheme. Here’s what she had to say…

“Life at Virgin Media O2 is structured and flexible. I was initially attracted to the company due to the promise of having a lifelong career after my apprenticeship. I like working for them because they care for their employees, and the benefits we get are amazing, such as discounts on broadband and mobiles, but also due to how flexible my role can be. I found that Virgin Media O2 really stood out from other telecommunication companies because they’re so inclusive, diverse and offer great training opportunities.”

“I found the apprenticeship through Indeed. At the point of applying, I had no real experience with Civil Engineering, so I was intrigued and took a leap of faith!”

“A top tip for anything thinking of starting an apprenticeship in 2023 would be to apply even if you don’t 100% understand what’s involved or what it’s about. There were plenty of opportunities throughout the application process to learn more, and Virgin Media O2 put me through all the necessary training needed.”

So, you think you’re ready to step into the world of apprenticeships and propel your career? Of course you are! You’ve got our full backing. Now’s the time to push outside your comfort zone and #TakeYourNextSteps. Take a look at the range of apprenticeships we’re recruiting for right now – we’re sure you’ll find something you’ll love!


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