How Virgin Media O2 is helping young people into the workplace

Five Virgin Media O2 apprentices pose for a photo at the Virgin Media O2 office
Virgin Media O2
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
8 February 2024

Young British jobseekers are being rejected for roles because they lack experience – despite the jobs being billed as ‘entry-level’, according to research from Virgin Media O2.

The survey, commissioned to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week (5 to 11 February), shows the challenges that young people face as they start their career.

Nearly three-quarters of 25 to 34-year-olds say that they have been rejected from an entry-level role because they didn’t have enough experience – and a third of them say they felt underqualified when applying.

Virgin Media O2
Virgin Media O2

To help address this, Virgin Media O2 is committed to hiring on potential, not prior experience. It is creating around 200 apprenticeship, graduate and intern positions this year, in a wide range of positions across the UK including in London, Reading and Manchester. All roles are offered on a permanent basis offering young people job security and starting salaries of at least £22,500 and up to £35,000.

Virgin Media O2 doesn’t ask for CVs or require prior work experience for any of its apprenticeship, graduate or internship roles. The recruitment process instead focuses on assessing a candidate’s skills, strengths and motivations, rather than their work history.

Karen Handley, Head of Future Careers at Virgin Media O2: “It’s wrong that many talented young people are being overlooked for entry-level roles because they don’t have prior experience – it’s creating unnecessary barriers for people starting out in their career.

A female Virgin Media engineer
Virgin Media

“At Virgin Media O2, we believe in creating opportunities not obstacles, hiring based on potential with no prior experience or CVs needed for any of our early career roles. With more than 200 apprentice, graduate, and intern roles available this year across the UK, we’re giving young people the opportunity to build the skills and knowledge needed for a successful future career.”

Through Virgin Media O2’s apprenticeship schemes, apprentices will learn in-demand skills, gain a recognised qualification and get into careers which would, in some instances, require a degree. Meanwhile graduates and interns will get the opportunity to rotate around different departments to help them find the career that’s right for them.

Roles available will include schemes such as field engineering, where apprentices work to keep customers connected by installing and fixing products in homes, and finance, where successful applicants will work across many different areas of finance operation, building fundamental accounting knowledge.

Visit Virgin Media O2 to find out more information about the roles available, apply or register for updates for further roles due to go live this year.