Our Learner of the Month for June is Tom Williams, a Network Engineer at Virgin Media, based in Hampshire. Tom is currently undertaking his Level 4 Network Engineer Apprenticeship and was nominated for the award by his Trainers.
Tom’s trainer told us about his accomplishments during training: “Tom completed 4 weeks training with me passing every end test and practical exam. Throughout training Tom has demonstrated intelligence and a drive to succeed. He works well with others as part of the team and demonstrates continuous improvement and development. Tom then went on to do a large amount of personal studies guided by Estio that allowed him to take that training and become the 1st of his group to fully pass the professional qualification”.
Paul Tait, Tom’s Line Manager, told us: “Tom has developed his networking engineering theoretical skills greatly and now understands networking principles to a sufficient level to enable him to engage in design discussions within his own engineering team and the wider company. Going forward Tom will be able to use these fundamental skills as building blocks for further in-depth learning of new protocols and technologies applying them to any projects he will be working on.”
Tom has been on his Level 4 Network Engineer apprenticeship for 9 months, and gave us some insight into his experience as an apprentice:
“I’ve always been interested in IT; in school, I built my own computer and I’ve always kept up to date with the latest technology and gadgets, so when I found the Networking Engineering apprenticeship, I was drawn to it immediately.
“Before starting my apprenticeship, I thought that a router was basically a device in your house that connects you to the internet. Since starting the apprenticeship I’ve learnt how to log on to routers, perform upgrades and change the hardware on them, and then going back into work we’ve had the opportunity to practice applying these skills with routers that are very expensive and something I would not have had the opportunity to do without the apprenticeship.
“I’ve been really enjoying the training. It’s nice to travel down to the training centre in London, having a week outside of the office helps me to focus on the training and get into a learning mindset without distraction. I’ve found the training weeks have really helped to compound the knowledge that I’m gaining at work, and the mixture of theory and practice really complement each other. I prefer this style of learning compared with the university style of learning which is 100% theory.
“At work, I’m enjoying shadowing different departments as this gives me exposure to all aspects of the business, and therefore a better understanding of how the organisation works.
“I’ve felt really supported throughout my apprenticeship. My skills coach is always just an email away. My trainer on the CCNA module has been especially helpful, he has always been available since my training to answer any technical questions I’ve had, and I’ve found his expertise particularly helpful.
“I hope that in the future I will progress in my career and move from being a Network Engineer to a Principal Engineer, taking on more responsibility and leading projects. One of the perks of networking is that it can be done anywhere in the world, so I’d like to work internationally at some point in my career.
“I would 100% recommend the experience to a friend, and in fact I already have recommended the apprenticeship to a friend. I’ve found it to be challenging but also engaging, and my training has been relevant to my role.”
Virgin Media have 252 apprentices currently employed in their business, and told us, “Apprenticeships ensure we’re customer centric in everything we do, starting with building our talent against our purpose and values. Apprentices improve our workplace diversity by attracting the broadest range of people into our company, and enable us to offer career pathways for people at different ages and skill levels, whether part or full-time to attract, develop and retain horizontally and vertically across our business. All of our schemes are designed to develop skills and knowledge, while giving our apprentices the experience and exposure they will need to grow a rewarding Virgin Media career. Apprenticeships help to address skills shortages, providing a pipeline for scare STEM skills, which supports us in building future technologies. Most recently, we were awarded top by RateMyPlacement, TheJobCrowd and AllAboutSchoolLeavers.”
Helen Ogle, from the Future Careers Team at Virgin Media told us, “Yes, I would definitely recommend Estio as an apprenticeship provider. I have been particularly impressed with Tarik Hirst, our account manager, who has recently been assigned to us and has shown a great deal of commitment to improve the learner experience for our 3 apprentices we have on programme. Our apprentices collectively fed back to confirm the CCNA course was particularly enjoyable to learn about. The content was interesting and relevant to their job at Virgin Media. The lecturer was very knowledgeable and engaging with the group, bringing the content to life through interactive delivery. Tarik and the team have been extremely receptive of the feedback we have shared with them so far, and have taken action accordingly and professionally in response to our requirements. Estio are keen to support us to bespoke future programmes even more, and we are pleased to be working in partnership with them with our next generation of Superhero Apprentices!”
If you’re interested in hiring an apprentice contact our Client Engagement Team on 01133 500 333 to discuss our tailored bespoke apprenticeship programmes.