Elite Group’s Apprenticeships – Developing the Technology Experts for our Collective Future

24th February 2021

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National Apprenticeship Week may have passed, but we are still incredibly proud of our apprentices and will continue to recognise their success and the value they bring in terms of building our collective future.

Sebastian Payne, one of our technical apprentices,  discusses what motivated him to join our apprenticeship programme and work at Elite Group.  
 

As the pandemic has seen the demand for business-improving technologies skyrocket, there has never been a more important time to focus on building the core technological capabilities and knowledge of our people, apprentices and next generation.

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

Tom is currently working within our First Contact Team which plays a key role in providing our customers with a responsive, one-stop-shop for all customer queries and issues.  The team ensure our customer experience is second-to-none, and delivering benchmark levels of customer service to our customers.

 

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 first joined Elite Group in October 2019 in the Unified Communications (UC) support team where my core focus was on supporting our customer’s phone systems and connectivity. The team taught me the fundamentals of the specific services that we provide, providing me with a very good foundation on which I can build further understanding of our whole range of services and products that we offer to our clients.

I then moved into the First Contact team, providing first line support for various customer queries and simple issue resolution. This ranges from billing queries, UC and mobile support. My experience within First Contact has given me a much wider view of the business, providing an excellent opportunity to broaden my skill set and help me establish what I most enjoy and where I can add the most value to the business and our customers alike.

 

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

I first saw the Apprenticeship opportunity online via the apprentice provider ‘Baltic’. I came across it whilst searching for an IT apprenticeship. Having read through the initial description, and doing further research, I was keen to learn more as I felt an apprenticeship in a cutting-edge technology company such as Elite Group would be something I would enjoy and would also give me a structured career path and foundation.

 

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

At the end of my apprenticeship, I will become a full-time employee of Elite Group and I very much hope and plan to continue to develop my skills and knowledge within the First Contact team and to further make a valuable contribution to our commitment to excellent customer experience.

 

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

At college I studied Biology, however, I was still at the stage of being uncertain of my plans and aspirations post-education. In the end, I felt that the prospect of dedicating a few more years to a degree I may not actually enjoy or derive any benefit from didn’t really excite me. Having had an interest in technology and IT since a young age, I wanted to give an apprenticeship role a shot!

The Apprenticeship route is a really great way to start your career path.  Not only can you earn whilst you learn, but it also provides an opportunity to try your hand at something you’d not normally have the chance to try out without tying yourself into a fixed training scheme or course.

It is such a good way of seeing what you may have a natural talent or aptitude for without limiting you to a fixed, long term and one-route education plan from the outset when you still may want to keep your options open and be flexible.

 

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

From the outset, everyone at Elite Group was welcoming and genuinely wanted to help me in my learning by guiding me in the right direction whenever I was uncertain of something or needed help. Because I felt so supported right from the start, I have got tremendous respect for my team and I have fitted in with Elite Group as a whole as a result.

I’ve felt so comfortable working with the UC team, and then gradually as I’ve moved to different areas of the business, I have grown in confidence and felt welcomed and supported throughout all the various different business areas.

 

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

The biggest learning curve for me was understanding the technical aspects of all the unified communications and IT products we offer to our customers and the terminologies and the fundamentals of how everything is created and configured. At first, it seemed like I was never going to understand it all!

However, after the 15-week training plan expertly laid out for me – which saw me shadowing each department within the business – everything started to come together and now I can understand the whole picture of how we can help our client’s run their businesses more collaboratively and securely, whilst increasing their productivity and profitability.  It really is clever and exciting stuff!

 

What excites you most about your future at Elite Group?

I’m excited to continue my learning and improving my skillset. At the end of my apprenticeship, I want to stay on at Elite Group so that I can continue to further develop the skills and knowledge I have gained so far. I’m hoping to secure a role that will allow me to work on solving our valued customers’ technical queries and help overcome any challenges.

 

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

It has been almost seamless.  There hasn’t been much of a change in terms of learning from home, as our apprenticeship provider conducted all our training sessions via an online classroom. This has all definitely been beneficial, as it has removed the requirement for travelling to a physical classroom, making more time available for me to continue with my regular work within the team, or gaining valuable insight through shadowing colleagues.

 

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

  1. The strategic direction the company is taking is positive and reassuring. It is exciting knowing we are playing a pivotal role in helping our customers and other companies remain busy and competitive throughout the pandemic and beyond.
  2. Elite Group has given me the tools and guidance necessary to be confident within my role upon completion of my apprenticeship.
  3. I am delighted to have a clear career path ahead of me and role progression that I can see for myself.

 

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

A piece of advice I would give to a new apprentice is – do not worry!  At the beginning, you may feel a bit overwhelmed with everything potentially being brand new, and the amount of information there is to take in initially.

However, I can assure you that with all the support you will receive from your colleagues at Elite Group, it all soon starts to become clear and the transition between having little or no knowledge of something to then be confident in your own abilities to make a real contribution is so rewarding – it definitely makes it all worthwhile.