18 March 2011
Shaping Digital Heroes
Find out how our apprenticeship scheme is making a difference to young people and society, as well as to our business.
The Virgin Media apprentice scheme is going from strength to strength! It started in 2008, when the scheme kicked off with us recruiting 52 apprentices onto our very own Virgin Media Level 2 NVQ (covering our Install and Service teams) and we still have 50 of the 52 in the business today. In 2009, we upped the numbers and recruited 63 apprentices for the Level 2 NVQ and out of those we still have 58 in the business. The scheme then grew wings when it came to 2010. Last year, we brought 142 apprentices on board and in Scotland, recruited 35 advanced apprentices on our level 3 SVQ (Planning and Civils qualification).
The main goal of our apprentice scheme is to attract the best young talent into our network teams and give them a great learning experience at Virgin Media by helping them to develop quickly in their roles, from a technical and personal perspective. But apprenticeship schemes like ours can play a big role in bringing benefits to young people and society as a whole, as well as to businesses. That’s why last month we were asked to help celebrate the official launch of National Apprentice Week in London, with Boris Johnson.
Here are a just a couple of the things we’re doing to help make sure our apprentice scheme creates bigger social benefits:
- We’re working with a youth charity called The Foyer, spending time with young people, helping them to understand the benefits of apprenticeships. The Foyer works with vulnerable young people to provide a wide range of services, including supported housing, training and employment projects, homeless prevention initiatives, transitional learning and health and well-being programmes, to a university bursary scheme and campaigns for welfare reform. Their mission is to turn young people's experiences of disadvantage into solutions that support their transition to adult independence.
- As part of their NVQ training, our apprentices get the chance to get involved in charity work. So far apprentices in Scotland have raised £6,000 for a local hospice by climbing Ben Nevis, and some of our London Apprentices are about to embark on a London to Brighton bike ride for Cancer Research.
2011 is an exciting year for the Apprentice Scheme at Virgin Media. We’re planning to bring around 300 young people on board, which is a great achievement for a scheme that’s only been up and running for three years. We’ve been attending events like Smaartskills, which is designed for young adults aged 15-24 to help them discover the huge range of careers, training schemes, apprenticeships, educational options and skills opportunities available to them. Events like this are important for us to recruit apprentices as it gives us an unrivalled platform to talk to our target audience in a face-to-face environment. With over 20,000 people entering the doors over two days, we spoke to everyone from, A-level students, Year 10-13 students, right through to careers’ Teachers to find out more on behalf of their pupils. Of course, we took some of our very own apprentices with us so they could talk to people about what it’s like to work here first-hand.
We’re always on the lookout for the best of the best to join us on our apprenticeship scheme. If you know of anyone 18-25 who you think would make a great Virgin Media employee, then why not get them to have a look at our dedicated website. They’ll get on the job training, as well as a recognised qualification (at NVQ level) and to top it all off, they get paid a decent salary too.