Wildanet Academy opens its doors for National Apprenticeship Week

Students from schools and colleges across Cornwall got a behind-the-scenes look at one of the South West’s most exciting tech businesses at an open day held by Wildanet to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

Visitors were welcomed to the Wildanet Technical Training Academy to take part in hands-on workshops, presentations and to find out more about careers and apprenticeships as telecommunications engineers.

Wildanet is the Cornwall-based broadband provider transforming internet connectivity for rural and hard-to-reach communities in Cornwall and Devon, and creating jobs, through the roll-out of the latest generation gigabit-enabled fibre to the premises.

The company marked National Apprenticeship Week by opening the doors on the success of its new Technical Training Academy and apprenticeships programme which has welcomed 11 new apprentices since its launch eight months ago.

Each year, National Apprenticeship Week, in February, aims to bring together everybody who is passionate about apprenticeships and to celebrate the value, benefits, and opportunities they bring.

This year’s theme - Skills for Life - sought to encourage wider appreciation of how apprenticeships can help individuals develop their skills and knowledge to begin their career journeys and aid employers in continually developing skills in their existing workforce.

The open day at Wildanet was not only a chance for potential apprentices to see what it’s like to work at the Liskeard-based Altnet (Alternative Network Provider) but also how to take that first step in fostering employability within themselves once studying is complete.

Wildanet’s Apprenticeship Programme is carried out in partnership with Truro and Penwith College and offers industry-leading training, including through the development of the South West’s first Telecoms Field Operative Apprenticeship programme, providing entry-level career opportunities in the Cornwall’s fast-growing tech sector.

Julie-anne Sunderland, Chief People Officer at Wildanet, said: “Wildanet is delighted to be part of the National Apprenticeship Week celebrations and especially thrilled to be supporting Truro and Penwith College which we collaborate with so closely.

“At Wildanet, we’re incredibly proud of our Academy and its ability to provide ongoing support to our apprentices as they go through their learning. It was great to be able to open our doors today and, who knows, we may well have been showing a future cohort of Wildanet apprentices what we actually do.”

The Wildanet Training Academy features a full suite of state-of-the-art equipment to train engineers in the theoretical and practical aspects of dealing with fibre installation, including network infrastructure and domestic installation; safely working with underground services and at height; and using microscope-based specialist equipment to splice and test individual strands of fibre optic cable.

It includes an industry-leading ‘pole field’ – the only facility of its kind in the South West – where engineers can be safely trained in scaling and operating on utility (or telegraph) poles up to 9m (30ft) tall.

In addition to their time in the Academy and on-the-job training, Wildanet apprentices also hone their skills at Truro and Penwith College’s new multi-million-pound STEM and Health Skills Centre in Bodmin.

Tom Moran, Future Skills and Business Partnerships Manager for Truro and Penwith College, said: “As the leading apprenticeships provider in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, we’re really proud to be working alongside a local employer and also to bring employment opportunities to young people in Cornwall.”

Head of Wildanet’s Technical Academy, Ian Carmichael, said: “Today’s event has been a massive success and it’s amazing to see so many different types of people here. I’m hoping they enjoyed the activities, the smiles on their faces were saying they did, and hopefully they’ve got a massive insight into what they would be doing if they came into an apprenticeship within Wildanet.”

If you would like to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities within Wildanet, visit the Wildanet Apprenticeship Scheme section of our website.

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