Best Apprentice/School Leaver Recruitment Strategy 2020

Virgin Media Apprentices – Virgin Media in partnership with Amberjack

Virgin Media relies on an army of skilled engineers who maintain the ultrafast network, but with an ageing population, the company needed to nurture the pipeline of talent necessary to take its business into the future.

  • Virgin Media became one of the first private companies in the UK to launch a structured part-time apprenticeship scheme to make the programme more inclusive and diverse than before.
  • Apprenticeships are now offered in a range of non-conventional business areas including HR, legal, finance and data analytics, as well as the more traditional disciplines.
  • The company understands that not every apprentice finds it easy to learn in the same environment, so apprentices who have literacy and numeracy challenges receive tailored, individual support to ensure they reach their full potential.
  • Making apprenticeships as flexible and inclusive as possible has meant that over the past year the apprentice recruitment process has been upgraded. As a result, the number of females applying to engineering roles increased from 11% at application stage to 16% at offers made.
  • To unite the Liberty Global and Virgin Media brands, the company created universal recruitment processes for apprentices, placements and graduates. The new apprentice recruitment process inspired, engaged and identified the talented candidates who could adapt to change quickly, pursue innovation and drive business growth.
  • Given the age profile of many apprentice candidates, Virgin Media felt it was important to engage parents and carers too. The company created an overview of what parents needed to know about its apprenticeship schemes, helping them understand what apprenticeships involve. ‘What parents need to know’ provided all the information and advice parents and carers needed to support their children in making the decision to apply for one of Virgin’s schemes.

Judges’ comments: Virgin Media has innovative assessments and including parents is fantastic. Part-time apprentice scheme is innovative to help inclusion.