Apprenticeships have always been a key part of Openreach’s recruitment strategy, and the telecommunications company are now urging other businesses to consider apprenticeships to help create a future pipeline of talent.

Sean Binks, senior fibre planning manager at Openreach, said: “Apprenticeships play a vital role in helping us to ensure the future success of our business and are a fantastic route into the workplace for individuals. At Openreach, we place great value on recruiting new apprentices into a wide range of roles and appreciate the significant contribution they bring to the business, from new ideas and perspectives, to new skills and experiences.

“We recruit apprentices throughout our service and network delivery teams on a regular basis. We are also in the process of bringing new recruits into our planning team, and are currently recruiting a cohort of planning apprentices at our Cardiff strategic site. This particular Apprenticeship Programme is highly skilled and technical, and we’ve ensured enough planning is done to tailor our Apprenticeships Programme to meet the business’ needs.”

Openreach hires around 3,000 apprentices each year, with each individual apprentice gaining a well-rounded view of the whole company:

“Whatever their individual programme, each of our apprentices will receive the quality training experiences, including spending a substantial period of time out in the practical field. This is vital as it teaches the apprentices about each part of the business, and what it deals with on a daily basis.

“We have a dedicated ‘open street’ training centre in Newport, and in other locations throughout the UK, for all our new recruits. These centres replicate real-life scenarios for our apprentices to put the necessary skills for the job into practice. It teaches them exactly what’s involved within not only their own role, but throughout the company.”

Openreach retains a high volume of their apprentices, Sean himself began his career as an apprentice with the company. He added:

“We have a clear learning pathway in place for all our apprentices, so that they understand how they’re acquiring the necessary skills for the job. We retain most of our apprentices and it is these long-term opportunities that motivate them. With a final role in mind, our apprentices feel they have a future at the company and help us to develop a pipeline of talent which   bolsters the business.

“We work closely with former apprentices to learn about their experiences and where we can improve, ensuring we’re providing the best Programme we can, which ultimately benefits Openreach.

Apprentices increase productivity within our business, each apprentice is paired with a mentor who has a passion to share the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired. The apprentices bring energy, excitement, and enthusiasm to the business – positively impacting the whole workforce.”