An apprenticeship with Sky helped Ailish’s confidence and communication skills flourish
Ailish Kendrick completed a Level 2 customer service practitioner apprenticeship, working at Sky’s call centre
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship at Sky?
I chose to do an apprenticeship at Sky as I never really enjoyed education and going to university wasn’t really for me, so I wanted to earn money but also still get a decent qualification that would help me build up my CV and help me in my future career.
What does your role involve?
My role involves taking calls from customers all over the country and working hard to fix their technical faults with their broadband or their Sky TV.
What’s the culture like at Sky? How are you supported?
The culture at Sky is diverse and inclusive, with a great mix of different people and different personalities. It is incredibly fun at Sky and I never have a dull day in the office. The support is amazing, the people here are always willing to help in any way they can. Sky has a lot of services to help with a variety of things. For example, at Sky Stockport we have a ZEN room where any advisors can go and just chill and take a breather, which helps with our mental health. We also have things like mental health ambassadors and bereavement groups. Sky has a huge support network that is easily accessible anytime it is needed.
Was adjusting to working life challenging?
Adjusting to work life can be quite daunting to start off with and I found the transition quite hard. I found it hard to get used to working the full 40 hours and learning to achieve work-life balance. I overcame this barrier by making sure I had made plans for the weekend, and to keep the social aspect of my life alive through the week.
Who is your learning training provider and what does the learning for your qualification consist of?
My learning training provider was City and Guilds. I did the Level 2 customer service practitioner course. This consists of doing coursework over 15 months. During these 15 months I had to complete modules and create essays on the topic chosen for the month. After the 15 months I was put forward for my end-point assessment, which consists of a day full of professional discussions and answering questions on the essays I submitted.
What are the most important transferable skills you use in your role?
Communication, time management and conflict resolution.
How can students begin developing these skills in their school subjects?
Time management can be developed in school by making sure you are on time for school, making sure you have revised in time for exams and making sure to hit deadlines on time for coursework.
Communication can be developed by making sure your teachers are in the loop with anything you may need more support on and asking for time with your teachers to talk about your grades and how to improve them.
Conflict resolution can be developed in subjects like history. A good debate with your peers can show you how you handle a conflict, and hearing about how historic conflicts have been resolved will also help students develop their skills.
What can young people do outside of school or college to develop these skills?
Time management can be developed when planning things with friends and family and making sure you are on time to those plans. Or if you do any extracurricular activities, make sure your stick to them and do not give up.
Communication can be developed when you go out for food or to the cinema, as interacting with the staff will help boost communication skills.
What was the application process like?
I applied online, uploaded my CV and then answered a few questions about different scenarios. If you pass this, you will then have an interview with someone from Sky, which felt more like a chat than an interview. Once you have passed the application process you speak to your learning trainers.
How has this apprenticeship helped your career and career goals?
I was incredibly nervous before starting this course, so my communication skills and confidence have really developed. My dream is to be a paramedic and getting this qualification will help me move on to a 999-call centre, where I can then train to be a paramedic. The apprenticeship has been a stepping stone on my career ladder.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
My proudest achievement so far is obviously getting distinctions in all aspects of my apprenticeship, but also all the other opportunities Sky have given me. For example, I am a mental health and wellbeing advocate, and I am also a part of the Tik Tok team here at Sky.
What advice would you give to someone applying for or considering this apprenticeship?
Do not be scared to ask questions because I guarantee someone else has the same questions but is too nervous to ask. No questions are silly questions. Be 100% yourself and you will go far in life not just in the apprenticeship, be confident and get your face and name out there and lots of opportunities will come with that. Never doubt what you can do because you can do anything you put your mind to!
To find out more about apprenticeship training at Sky, visit careers.sky.com/earlycareers/apprenticeships