1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role is a lab engineer, I set up testing scenarios which match real world and test new/updated devices to go in the field. The apprenticeship helps me to learn more about the data side of my job, which is where the industry is heading. It will enable to me to understand, design and build a network along with fault finding too. We get assigned type approval work and must complete these within the time given.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am only a month into my apprenticeship but I have been given lots of support so far and given the online learning to learn my role well. The online learning I use is the one the company provide me and not the apprenticeship learning. The company learning portal is so much easier and more bite size and actually explains things to me assuming I know nothing so I can understand. For example the OSI and TCP/IP layer.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I do find I am given the time and help I need to learn which makes me excited to get my head down and stuck into whatever it is a need to know. I also have access to equipment which I could set up myself in the lab and confirm working without the interruption of any services to customers, ideal practice!
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
This could do with work.... Before signing up I tried 2 other times and was told I couldn't sign up due to the fact I wasn't in a role where I would be using the data side day in day out to practice. Now I am on the apprenticeship my manager, although very helpful and trying, is struggling to put together a plan of action as has no experience and no other guides to go off. We are just doing our best to help me learn and making the rest up as we go along. The support from my skills coach at Estio is good though and he helps me understand what I need to do to succeed.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The apprentice ship team, early careers & Management have been super supportive of me and really promote me in the business. They all do their upmost to give me everything I need and are approachable and helpful. My management have given me the time and will give me the experience in different teams to be able to be competent and learn the roles required.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Estio are really good now I am enrolled with them. There was a little bit of misjudgment in the beginning of the apprenticeship where I wasn't enrolled until the 3rd visit but after that my skills coach has got me onto additional training courses to enhance my current skills and also gives me frequent updates on what I can do to learn more and work towards my EPA.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
With the industry expanding and upgrading constantly, this apprenticeship will help me understand the new technology so in the future I can use my new skills to better help the company and produce testing to ensure equipment put into the network is the best possible for our needs at the time.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
Yes, we have had bake off's and team activities to get involved in. The people I work with in the larger network (not just engineering) are always building relationships and team bonding both in and out of work. We have opportunity to sign up to challenges and charity events also.
9a. Would you recommend Virgin Media to a friend?
This is my second apprenticeship with this company. I did my first 8 years ago. The business are always willing to help and improve me as a person. I get asked to attend events and also do write ups on my experience so others can see how well you can do in the business if you work hard.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Virgin Media?
Most definitely a great opportunity. The business really looked after me during my apprenticeship experiences. Lots of support and team work given and the training for the more generic roles is great. Online access for training is given to everyone and you are given the time to learn which is so important.