5 mins with…Ben McGawley, Trinity Maxwell Limited 

This week’s 5 min chat is with Ben Gawley, Operations Director at Trinity Maxwell Limited, who talks challenges, opportunities and apprenticeships.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a telecoms professional?   The pace of the marketplace – from technology to regulation.

How do you feel The ITP’s Apprenticeship scheme has benefited your company? It has enabled us to find motivated candidates with an aspiration to progress.

What do you see as the major trends for the next 12 months? Technology wise, IoT growth and cloud strategy being driven by more interoperability.

What are your priorities for this year? To continue business growth while expanding expertise in key areas.

What would you say to apprentices considering entering the industry? Unlike many industries, the pace of change keeps it constantly engaging and fresh. There are a wide array of areas and roles that you can grow into once you start working in the industry, so if you are willing to work hard then there aren’t many better industries to work in.  You need to make sure you understand the building blocks, so you can understand how different services and solutions fit together, and the benefits and issues that this can bring.

Sum up the industry in one word…dynamic.

www.trinitymaxwell.com

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5 mins with…Rhys Howitt, Apprentice Engineer

This week we ask Rhys Howitt, Apprentice Engineer at Premier Choice Telecom, 5 questions in 5 minutes about what it’s like to be an apprentice.

What made you consider becoming a telecoms apprentice? I wanted to be a part of a constantly evolving industry.

How long have you been an apprentice? Around four months now.

What does your typical day entail? Lots of hard work and learning!

What are the benefits of being an apprentice? Learning while you’re earning is a major benefit, but also interacting with colleagues and customers helps you learn a lot.

What advice would you give to other young people considering an apprenticeship? Don’t wait around to start an apprenticeship, it’s one of the best things you will do!

Fund out more about the ITP Apprenticeship Scheme.

 

 

5 mins with…Chris West, G3 Comms

New apprentice Chris West, Customer Service Engineer from G3 Comms, tells us about his experiences so far.

What made you consider becoming a telecoms apprentice? 

I wanted to get into telecoms because I saw it as a good career path with great potential.

How long have you been an apprentice?

For around seven weeks.

What does your typical day entail?

Days vary, but during a typical day I am helping on our help desk. This consists of helping clients and customers with their queries. Along with this, I shadow a colleague doing the same so I can learn from them. Occasionally, I am on site doing installations and helping colleagues.

What are the benefits of being an apprentice?

Earning while I learn. I am getting a great education from my employer and they are offering me a good potential career path.

What advice would you give to other young people considering an apprenticeship?

My advice to young people considering an apprenticeship is to go for it. University isn’t for everybody and apprenticeships are a great way to gain qualifications, earn money and build a career.

Find out more about the ITP Apprenticeship Scheme.

 

9 reasons why you should consider Professional Registration

Many of our members are professionally registered with letters after their name such as CEng, IEng, EngTech and ICTTech. But what are the benefits of professional registration, and how can it help you further your career?

 
9 reasons to consider:

 
1. It looks impressive on your CV and distinguishes you from other candidates.

2. It identifies you as having competencies that employers value.

3. It confirms that your commitment to professionalism is underwritten by the support of a national engineering institution, licensed by the Engineering Council.

4. It gives you international recognition of your qualifications which can help you to find work abroad more easily.

5. Pay rates can compare more favourably with non-registered engineers.

6. It offers access to a network of similarly qualified and experienced experts in their field through the ITP (membership is automatic when undertaking professional registration).

7. It opens up ITP member benefits of quarterly magazines, telecoms-specific events and the chance to become a mentor or mentee.

8. It offers the chance to gain accreditation even if you don’t have formal qualifications, as you may be able to demonstrate your skills through work-based learning.

9. Your employer benefits too by as increasingly, tendering or post-tender contract compliance requires key members of the project team to have professional registration.
What are you waiting for? Find out more today.

Going underground – our trip round the Kingsway Tunnels by Sue Langridge

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Apprentices have been a big part of telecoms for a very long time – but the job they do now, and their working environments, can be very different than just a few generations ago.

One of the ways we support our apprentice members is by offering them unique experiences, and the chance to visit places and meet people that can enrich their knowledge of the industry.

A great example of that was the visit we organised for apprentices and their managers to the Kingsway Tunnels in London. This really was a very special day for all of us – getting a guided tour of these fascinating and mysterious underground spaces, which not only play a special part in British telecoms history but also have the added glamour of being linked (however tenuously!) with ‘Q’ Branch of James Bond fame!

The now-closed tunnels were built as an air raid shelter in 1940, and their history after their construction is the source of much debate – with both ‘Q’ and MI6 being touted as possible residents!

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Later, the tunnels were used as a communications hub for transatlantic cables – with thousands of people going to work every day, hidden beneath London’s busy streets in complete self-sufficiency.

The tunnels have been closed to the public since 1974, but the tour was organised for our group, which included ITP apprentices and apprentices from Virgin Media and BT, along with their managers.

I can honestly say we all had a fantastic time – the history of the tunnels was brought to life for us by Brian Storer, and the apprentices thoroughly enjoyed getting a glimpse of the ‘secret’ London beneath their feet.

One of them, Corbin Turner of Virgin Media, said: “This really was the opportunity of a lifetime. It was great to explore the tunnels and see how people lived and worked there all that time ago, and amazing to imagine what it would have been like back then. It also gave me the chance to chat to BT apprentices and find out about their working life, which was really interesting.”

We’re always looking for new opportunities to support and engage with our apprentices – and one of the ways we do that is with our annual Apprentice of the Year Awards. Check back on Friday for a new blog with all the details about the 2014 awards!

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New Year, New Beginnings

 

Greetings from the ITP – we hope 2013 is a great year for all our members.

We’ve certainly hit the ground running, coming back to a mountain of exciting work – in particular, the launch of our brand new ITP Telecoms Apprenticeship Scheme.

As many of you will know, we’ve been working on this for some time – consulting with employers large and small, sourcing training, finding funding, and making sure we get the project exactly right.

Now, after all that groundwork, we are finally ready to officially launch, and have a fantastic event planned at BT Tower on March 13. I can’t think of a better venue than this iconic building, and we’re all really looking forward to it. It’s invite only, but if you would like to come, please do drop us a line as we may well be able to make room for you – if you are able to wait until late in the day to hear if we have space.

On the day we will be hearing from apprentices and their employers, as well as meeting our training providers and other people involved in the scheme. We hope that this is going to make a real difference – not only to telecoms, by allowing all business to access the benefits of apprentices, but to young people looking for a foothold in a thriving and ever-changing career.

To show our own commitment to apprentices, we are putting our money where our mouth is and are currently recruiting for our very own Business Admin apprentice, who we look forward to joining us at ITP HQ very soon.

We’re also aware that apprenticeships are only the beginning – and many of our members are at different stages in their careers. That’s why we’ve also decided on an extra push for Professional Registration. So far, it’s been hugely successful – with the intake of new ICTTech candidates in December, more than half the engineers on the Engineering Council ICT Technician Register are ITP members. Being a telecoms engineer is a highly skilled, highly professional role – and by offering Professional Registrations, we aim to support all our members by offering them the opportunity to apply for the relevant registration for them – allowing them to gain internationally recognised letters after their name which benchmarks the skills and experience they have gained in their careers.

We offer a range of registrations – from ICT and Engineering Technician to Incorporated and Chartered Engineer. Whatever stage of your career, there will be one that is right for you. Why not click on to our case studies  and see how it’s helped some of our members so far? If you want to know more, just contact us.

January is a time when many people are looking at their lives and their careers, deciding on future moves and goals, and considering their options. The ITP is here to help – whether it be Professional Registration, mentoring, or getting out and about doing some networking. Keep an eye on our website and see what we have to offer in 2013!

The ITP: it’s for apprentices too – so come on and join in!

Emmete Freeman is our of our graduated apprentice members, working for BT. Here she shares her experience of whats it like to be a member of the ITP:

“I joined BT as an apprentice because I was excited by telecoms: broadband is in its infancy, and there are interesting times ahead as we see how revolutions like smart networks will affect us all.

Looking back on my apprenticeship, I had some great experiences. I gained a lot of very useful qualifications, including my HNC in Business, and was privileged to attend careers fairs representing BT. I was able to help other young people make their career choices, and I felt like I was involved in the start of someone else’s journey.

After I graduated, I took up the ITP on its offer to support me through my application to gain my ICTTech. The ICTTech is a recognised industry achievement that shows everyone the level of your technical knowledge. The process was straightforward, and I now have letters after my name, which makes me very proud – it’s also helpful when applying for new roles.

Recently, I attended the ITP’s Building a 3:0 World seminar, which was really interesting and thought-provoking – I plan on attending a lot more ITP events in the future, as they are a great way of staying up to date with what is going on in telecoms, and of meeting colleagues.

Apprentices might not always think that a professional body like the ITP is for them – but it is. As well as helping me gain my ICTTech, I think the ITP offers apprentices all kinds of opportunities. You get to network, and meet people from all aross the industry. You find out about different parts of the business, and learn about aspects of telecoms that you might never find out about otherwise.

So come on apprentices – get involved!

Emmete with her ICT Tech certificate

Hello World!

 

Welcome to the ITP blog!

The Institute of Telecommunications Professionals (ITP) is the UK’s leading independent institution for people who work in telecommunications.

We are  dedicated to promoting the professional and career development of members through Professional Registration, training, mentoring and qualifications. We keep our members up to date with the latest industry developments through The Journal, podcasts and regional events, as well as hosting workshops, seminars and networking sessions.

The ITP collaborates with regulators, government associations and other leading bodies on a wide variety of projects that are important to the future of the industry, representing the views of its members. It has worked and shared best practice with businesses such as BT, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei and Vodafone, in addition to leading educational institutions such as the Open University (OU) and University College London (UCL).

The ITP has been the professional voice of telecoms for more than a century. We have spoken for the industry in its past, its present, and now we are looking to its future. The telecommunications industry has evolved rapidly over the decades, and like all industries, faces challenges. We believe now, as we always have, that talented people are at the heart of a thriving telecommunications sector. Our vision for the coming year is to explore the ways in which we can help shape the future of the telecoms industry through a new apprenticeship scheme. The scheme will aim to provide a constant flow of well-trained, highly-qualified individuals into the businesses who need them. We are committed to working with organisations in partnership, supporting the development of future telecoms talent.