Developing the Tech Experts who will help us build a better future

2nd March 2021

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With the pandemic continuing to throw challenges in the way of businesses worldwide, demand has never been greater for the latest technologies available to solve the issues which are hurting companies and hindering productivity and success.

 

We spoke to Liam Southern, one of our very own Unified Communication (UC) apprentices.
 

It goes without saying that at the same time, right now we are seeing the highest demand for people with experience in information technology and communications system expertise to help firms implement the systems which will enable them to increase their capability and productivity.

Focus is therefore increasingly turning to how we as a nation create, teach and develop the skillsets and knowledge base of our next generation of workers. So, it is no surprise businesses up and down the country and across varying industries are investing in apprenticeships.

To gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be an apprentice here at Elite Group today, we spoke to Liam Southern, one of our very own Unified Communication (UC) apprentices.

 

Let’s start with finding out a bit more about you – can you tell us about your career history so far and your current role within Elite Group?

I’ve been lucky enough to have had first-hand exposure to multiple departments within Elite, and the incredible people who work within them.

I initially joined Elite Group in October 2019 and started my apprenticeship journey working within the UC support team.  This time provided me with the unique opportunity of shadowing and working alongside Elite’s very talented and experienced 2nd and 3rd line engineers. My placement within this team gave me a platform to gain practical hands-on experience through the resolution of customer queries and allowed me to gain exposure to technical installations across multiple Elite Group communication systems.

From there I joined Elite Group’s First Contact Team, as a First Contact Agent. This was a very varied role that provided a breath of day-to-day work and activity. From performing 1st line diagnostics on a system failure to assisting in billing queries, my role within the team was to ensure that our customers have a quality experience from the very beginning.

My time within the First Contact team not only exposed me to all manners of queries but it also really helped embed the emphasis the business as a whole has on driving excellent customer experience.

I am now both pleased and proud to say that since completing my apprenticeship I have joined Elite Group’s Assurance Team in a full-time position. I’m now very excited to build on the skills and knowledge I have learnt so far so I can continue to further support our valued customers.

 

How did you hear about the apprenticeship opportunity at Elite Group?

I heard about the Elite Group apprenticeship scheme through an online job advert.  I was looking for a career in tech so when the opportunity to work and complete a formal qualification within my chosen field arose, it presented the perfect career path. I was even more fortunate to find such an opportunity with such a respected and forward-looking company.

 

What will be the outcome for you at the end of your apprenticeship?

I’ve just completed my apprenticeship and have been fortunate and successful in securing a place in Elite Group’s Assurance Team.

Elite Group is such a fantastic place to work and I truly enjoy supporting all of our customers.

 

Why did you go down the apprenticeship route and not a traditional post-16 education?

I chose to continue my education through an apprenticeship as I enjoy the practical element of working and learning at the same time. Although I recognise that theory is important and will always play a huge part in overall learning, I am much more of a practical learner. An apprenticeship presented me with the opportunity to learn and develop through practical exposure so it was very appealing.

I’d say that the Apprenticeship route is such a great way of embarking on an exciting and fulfilling career path.  It provides the perfect opportunity to have a go at something you’d not normally have the chance to do without committing yourself to a fixed-term, traditional training scheme or course

 

How have you fitted in as part of the Elite Group team?

Elite Group has a culture where everyone is accepted and fully supported so it has never been a case of trying to fit in. I’ve made some good friends here at Elite and I’m looking forward to getting to know colleagues from the wider business areas even better than I do already.

From the word go, everyone at Elite Group has been so friendly and open and they have genuinely gone out of their way to help support and guide me in both my work and my learning. I’ve got a huge amount of admiration for all members of my team and the wider business because of this.

 

What has been the biggest learning curve for you during your time as an apprentice at Elite Group?

My biggest learning curve was getting used to working in an office environment. Previously, I had worked in manual jobs, so it was a bit of an adjustment getting used to working in a completely different environment and workplace.

However, with the structured yet flexible training plan which saw me shadowing each department within the business, everything just started to come together and fall into place. Now I can fully appreciate the whole picture of how Elite Group helps our clients run their businesses more collaboratively and securely, whilst increasing their productivity and profitability – it’s really clever and exciting stuff that we deliver!

 

What excites you most about your future at Elite Group?

I’m very much looking forward to gaining a deeper insight into the technical aspects of the varied services and products we offer customers and using this insight to better support our customers run their own organisations more efficiently, effectively and securely.

 

As an apprentice how are you finding working from home and learning at the same time?

It is definitely easier to source information when you are in the office surrounded by colleagues. However, we are using all the collaborative tools and systems at our disposal to the very best effect.

Microsoft Teams is one of the many tools we are using and it does make life so much easier and collaborative working more effective.  Our team has daily check-in and check-out calls, group chats with the various departments and it has never been an issue getting hold of someone over the phone when you need them.

In terms of learning, my course was delivered via a Smart Classroom, an online classroom that you attend remotely. I therefore already had some experience working with others virtually even pre the Covid-19 pandemic, so I haven’t found it difficult to work or learn from home. You just need to keep yourself motivated and on-track.

 

If you were describing what it’s like to work at Elite Group, what would you say?

Elite Group’s positive ethos as a whole reflects the supportiveness of the people within it every individual’s contribution is valued. I can vouch for the fact that the mentoring you receive is second to none and there is always the opportunity to develop and progress your career.

Elite is a fast-paced business to work for but if hard work doesn’t phase you, it is an incredibly rewarding company to work for.

If you are considering applying for a job or an apprenticeship at Elite Group or you are soon to begin your journey, b then my advice to you would be don’t be afraid to get involved. Have an open mind and the willingness and hunger to learn – you will fit right in!

 

If you could give a new Elite Group apprentice any advice, what would it be?

It can be difficult at times, juggling the management of your day-to-day role within the business, your coursework and your training modules but please remember there is plenty of help and support on hand if needed.

 

Elite Group is the perfect place to work if you’re eager to learn and want to work for a customer-focused and leading technology provider which truly values everyone’s contribution!