Wildanet's apprenticeships boost digital engineering in the south west

During National Apprenticeship Week, Wildanet, a leading broadband provider in the south west, is celebrating its Technical Training Academy’s success.  

In just eight months, the academy has welcomed 11 apprentices, aiming to train the next generation of digital engineers.  

Wildanet was awarded £36 million in 2023 as part of the UK government’s £5 billion Project Gigabit programme to roll out new connections to around 19,250 homes and businesses in South West and Mid Cornwall.  

The Technical Training Academy, in partnership with Truro and Penwith College, launched the telecoms field operative apprenticeship programme last year. Located in Liskeard, the academy is crucial for training engineers to expand high-speed broadband across rural Cornwall.  So far, 11 apprentices have joined, learning essential skills for deploying and maintaining modern telecommunications infrastructure.  

Helen Wylde-Archibald, CEO of Wildanet, said: “Wildanet was set up for both profit and purpose. When we launched Wildanet, we made a pledge to not only bridge the digital divide, but to also offer rewarding career opportunities for the communities that we serve and create a lasting legacy for future generations.  

“The Academy and the apprenticeship scheme is at the heart of this pledge and its opening and early success is a milestone, not only for Wildanet but for Cornwall and the south west. The support from Project Gigabit has been instrumental in this.” 

The Academy boasts modern facilities, including a specialized ‘pole field’ for hands-on utility pole training—a unique feature in the South West. This facility ensures engineers receive essential training locally, eliminating the need to travel for training and supporting local talent. 

The partnership between Wildanet and Truro and Penwith College aims to create opportunities and meet the needs of the telecommunications sector. 

Charli Styles, programme team leader at Truro and Penwith College, said, “The College is thrilled to have established this innovative partnership with Wildanet that has seen the inception of the south west’s first telecoms field operative apprenticeship, creating quality career opportunities for our apprentices while benefitting homes, businesses and communities across Cornwall and Devon.” 

As National Apprenticeship Week unfolds, Wildanet encourages aspiring apprentices to explore opportunities. Interested individuals can apply through the company’s website. 

Images:  Truro & Penwith College
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