Ellie Betteridge is a network engineer apprentice with Virgin Media
I chose to do an apprenticeship because I wanted to change direction in my career. I had completed a degree in sports science but no longer wanted to work in that industry. I knew an apprenticeship would be the right place to start again so I could build up my skills and knowledge.
In my apprenticeship with Virgin Media, I complete 80% of my time on the job and 20% off the job. During the 20% off the job, I take part in courses to study towards a diploma. In addition to the courses, I have a portfolio to work on, which includes writing case studies about my on-the-job time. My manager is very flexible about when I take my ‘off the job’ time, and if I have deadlines coming up will allow me more time to study.
My work and study life consists of 8am till 4pm, Monday to Friday, which means I still have my evenings and weekends free. Before starting at Virgin, I could not name or identify most tools. Now, six months on, I am carrying out my own jobs independently. This includes reading engineering plans, stripping and connecting cables, running in fibres, installing equipment, earthing racks, installing DC electricity and fault finding, to provide services such as Broadcast and Broadband to Virgin Media customers.
As a Virgin Media apprentice, I have been given many opportunities such as presenting on calls and insights into the different departments within the company.
My plan once I complete the apprenticeship is to build a long-lasting career in Virgin Media. I will apply to stay on as a senior network engineer, while also applying for higher roles in different departments.
The benefits of completing an apprenticeship at Virgin Media is that you get your foot in the door at a very big, very successful company, all while learning about the role, so you can be a complete beginner with no previous experience required. I would highly recommend working as an apprentice to those leaving school or those wanting a career change.
To find out more about apprenticeship training at Virgin Media, visit virg.in/futurecareers