Chester-based Comvergent have shared during this year’s National Apprenticeship Week how they have taken steps to address the telecoms skills gaps.
The company, which provides technology solutions across the UK, wanted to expand their field installation workforce in response to customer demand and the growing market.
HR Manager at the company, Niamh O’Shea, explained why they decided to offer a training-based opportunity as opposed to regular positions within the company;
‘After reviewing the various options out there, we knew that hiring a group of apprentices would be right for us; not only because we wanted to invest in local young talent, but also because we knew what genuine career opportunities apprenticeships can offer.’
Having then investigated various frameworks and with few fitting the bill for the high-risk telecoms installation work the company does, HR Manager, Niamh O’Shea, didn’t want to stop the search there;
‘When looking for a recognised scheme that matched our high calibre of work, we really struggled to find the right fit. We soon realised that we needed something bespoke.’
As a result, the company worked closely with private training provider, PDS, to devise a scheme that was tailored for and recognised by the telecoms sector. The apprenticeship scheme was designed for individuals to work towards a Level 3 ICT Apprenticeship, as well as undertaking external courses and completing both practical and theory-based on-the-job training.
The process of recruiting the apprenticeships was also personalised for the company, as Ms O’Shea explains;
‘We wanted to implement a recruitment process that was not only effective for us to select the right candidates, but also one that engaged the apprentices as much as possible.’
As well as in-depth testing, Comvergent held assessment centre days for the apprentice applicants, which involved team building exercises and problem solving; the group even had their fear of heights tested with a trip up a cherry picker!
The successful apprenticeships have now been in the job for just under 3 months, receiving very positive feedback from both their Line Managers and Assessors.
Callum Quinn, one of the apprentices, explained; ‘” I have enjoyed my time so far as an apprentice at Comvergent; from the start, I felt at ease as everybody is very encouraging and welcoming. I found the process of applying for the position very informative, as I was able to gain an insight of what the job entails.”
Callum goes on to say how he is looking forward to the future; “I hope to further add to the skills I have already acquired with the help of the team at Comvergent, and am looking forward to a successful career in telecoms.”
The scheme has armed the company with talented individuals that have the right skills, tailored for the sector and, as Ms O’Shea explains, Comvergent aren’t the only ones to have benefited;
‘We know how successful apprenticeship schemes are as we regularly invest in them for our current staff, however we weren’t expecting such fantastic results from devising the bespoke framework. We are confident that by doing this, our young apprenticeships are fully equipped for a successful career in the telecoms sector.’
Notes to Editor
Comvergent is a technology solution provider that is dedicated to enabling businesses to connect with and maximise the potential of the digital world.
Founded in 2005, the company has over 250 staff, with offices in both Chester and Kettering, working with worldwide clients.
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