Retrain revolution: Virgin Media O2 to create 350 apprenticeships in 2023

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 2023

With almost half of UK workers saying they want to retrain or study for a new qualification during the cost-of-living crisis, Virgin Media O2 is creating 350 apprenticeships in 2023 – with salaries well above the UK average for apprentices.

A new study reveals that 20% of people feel that they’re not paid enough in their current role to cover high bills due to the rise in the cost-of-living. More than a fifth want to retrain so they can earn more money and increase their job stability, however having the time to retrain and the cost of it is putting people off.

A female Virgin Media engineer
Virgin Media

The research, commissioned by Virgin Media O2 to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, highlights how many workers are not considering apprenticeships as an option to help them retrain, upskill or gain qualifications due to misconceptions.

Although apprenticeships are recognised by the majority of the UK workforce as a great way to learn new skills while getting paid, most people believe they are poorly paid and don’t offer guaranteed job security. Other misconceptions about apprenticeships include them not being available in a wide range of roles, being temporary roles, or only for young people.

In contrast with these concerns, Virgin Media O2 is creating a wide-range of apprenticeship roles across its business, with a starting salary of at least £19,000 (and up to £30,000 for some apprenticeship roles) – well above the UK’s average for an apprenticeship scheme.

Virgin Media O2
Virgin Media O2

All roles are offered on a permanent basis, with a guaranteed job at the end – providing job security. Virgin Media O2 invests heavily in the programme to ensure learners have the skills they need to thrive in their careers. Over the course of their scheme, each apprentice receives training and support worth up to £25,000.

And, despite concerns that apprenticeships are only for school leavers, there is no upper age limit on applications. Current Virgin Media O2 apprentices range from 19 to 52 years old – with 45% of apprentices who joined in 2022 aged 25 or older.

“A retrain revolution is sweeping the UK in these tough times as millions of people across the country worry about their finances and are looking at how they can learn more to earn more and have greater job security but, at the same time, are concerned that training will take too much time or money,” Karen Handley, Head of Future Careers at Virgin Media O2, said. “That’s why we’re proud to be creating hundreds of new apprenticeships at Virgin Media O2 this year with great salaries, offering fantastic opportunities for people to learn new skills – from building our gigabit broadband network to project management – with a guaranteed job at the end.

Virgin Media O2
Virgin Media O2

“Our apprenticeships are for everyone, and we welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to apply – as we keep working hard to create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

Apprenticeship roles currently available with Virgin Media O2 include schemes such as mobile radio planning and radio delivery – where apprentices will be supporting the roll out of the 5G mobile network – and technical design and access transmission delivery – where apprentices will learn to deliver connectivity solutions to support business customers. Find out more about the roles that are currently available and apply now, or register for updates to further roles due to go live this year.