1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
CSOP (Acronym for my role) is a relatively varied role in which we are currently responsible for the planning aspect of network repairs and provisions across England & Wales. In a few months time we will be trained to take calls from engineers and assign their work across the UK. Day-to-day currently involves "picking up" a job via one of our internal systems and building said job to repair or provide new service to our customers
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Massively. I came into this role from a similar role with my local fire service as well as a background in IT studies at a college level. The skills I learned and practiced prior to this role have been improved tenfold, partly due to Openreach being such a technological giant alongside the wider BT Group, but also due to the previously mentioned variation in the work we complete. The current work has also allowed me to develop new skills as our work involves building accurate estimates for the work to be completed. The current global situation has also allowed for new skills to be learnt - As of writing this review, my apprenticeship has been completed from home which has led to some interesting teaching methods however we have still taken to the role quite well.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The beginning of the programme has been interesting given the situation globally however I have still enjoyed it and taken to the programme well, and the team I joined with have been exemplary. Openreach have also been quite accommodating to the unique situation and have ensured that for the entire time we've been working we have had the support and equipment to complete our apprenticeship as well as allowing us to complete our actual role.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Initially the program was a little scrambled given the last minute change in situation and the fact that lockdown was started just as we were set to enter our office and therefore the programme had to be adapted "on the fly". Despite this, both Openreach and ILE adapted quite well to ensure that we are not disadvantaged in either our role or the apprenticeship and the timing is rather well structured in that we have adequate time available for anything we need to do for the programme
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
In the 4 months I have been with the company they have been impeccable. Ensuring that, despite being at home, our training hasn't suffered as a result and that we have also had the appropriate equipment to complete our roles regardless of what we're asked. The team we have been introduced with have been amazing and allowed for any issues to be resolved quickly. When dealing with personal matters, the managers have been extremely understanding and supportive to anything that comes up.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Like my employer, ILE have also been extremely accommodating, ensuring that our studies have suffered as little as possible especially given the fact that some of our work required being actually in our office which means these have been adapted to ensure that we can still gain the qualification with little to no inconvenience. Our tutor has also been extremely understanding and supportive helping us settle into our apprenticeship and ensuring that we have that wall to fall back to if we struggle.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Given that we're fresh into the company, the qualification has been helping us develop not only professionally but also personally due to the fact that a lot of customer service skills can be adapted into your personal life. Some skills have been put into practice helping us with our current role as well as any training that we have been completing
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.)
As far as I'm aware there are extra-curricular activities for employees. However, due to not attending the office yet, this is something I am unsure on.
9a. Would you recommend BT to a friend?
Openreach is a national company that has been in the industry long enough that they are great at what they do and are amazingly supportive to their employees both new and old. Adapting to the global situations in such a way that none of their employees are inconvenienced and that we have the equipment to do so. On top of this, the staff in my team and elsewhere in the business have been amazing and helped the company feel more personal. You also gain the feeling that you have achieved something on a daily basis
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BT?
Ensure that you are adequately prepared. The application and interview process is not as scary as it seems, given you answer the questions to the best of your ability you'll be fine. Granted you might feel like you don't have the right experience, but that's fine - If you have no direct experience for a question, just answer what you would do in that situation that's perfectly fine. The experiences once you are in are endless. You can go anywhere within the company, the wider BT Group, or anywhere else.