Growing Belfast-based telecoms firm launches apprenticeship programme aimed at NI school leavers

 Barclay Communications’ telecom engineer training scheme allows young people to learn and earn in one of the fastest growing industries

A dedicated apprenticeship scheme for the telecoms industry has launched at Belfast-based Barclay Communications.

The first intake of the scheme, which will see apprentices earn a competitive salary while they work towards gaining a City & Guilds Level 3 qualification in ICT Systems and Principles, will take place mid-July.

The goal of the scheme is to give school leavers the opportunity to earn and learn in one of the fastest growing sectors.

It will also nurture the talent pool for the burgeoning Barclay Communications which has recently experienced a surge in clients.

The apprenticeship scheme will launch with an intake of two trainees with plans to increase that number at the beginning of each new apprenticeship term.

It is open to anyone with an interest in developing their skills, with a particular focus on those who have or are about to leave school.

The minimum requirement for entry onto the programme is a pass in Maths, English and ICT grade C at GCSE level or an equivalent qualification. Applicants must not hold a third level qualification in any ICT or related area.

The scheme will involve classroom training in an affiliated college throughout the year, with a specific focus on IT and Telecoms engineering. Apprentices will be able to gain practical training with experienced engineers on customer premises, as well as classroom training in-house, giving an insight into the platforms used, expected standards, problem solving, troubleshooting and demonstrating a high level of customer service.

Training and development will take place through set and dedicated courses such as health and safety, working at heights, cabling and partner programme accredited training courses, all of which help apprentices become experts in their field.

Upon completion, candidates will receive a Guilds Level 3 qualification in ICT Systems and Principals. They will also be offered a full-time role within the engineering team at the growing Barclay Communications.

Speaking about the programme, Britt Megahey, Founder and Managing Director at Barclay Communications said: “We are delighted to launch our first ever apprenticeship programme that will entice more young people into a flourishing business sector.

“Our goal behind this launch is to invest in the youth of Northern Ireland by giving them a job that includes learning a dedicated skill with training and development as they go through college.

“We are keen to hear from anyone with an interest in developing their skills, especially those who have or are about to leave school.”

Mr Megahey said apprentices will be based at the company’s head office in Belfast but the scheme is open to applicants from across Northern Ireland.

He said: “We would love to see the programme reach a wide geographical demographic. Already, on our team, we have engineers from all four corners of NI, including Armagh, Bangor and the North West.

“This apprenticeship scheme is not just open to those who reside close to our head office but anyone who has an interest in learning about the sector and building a career within it.”

Apprentices will assist Barclay Communications’ telecoms engineering team to complete installation of internet telephony (VoIP) within businesses, the technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a traditional (ISDN or PSTN) phone lines, which will soon become obsolete.

They will also assist with site surveys, under the direction of a Senior Engineer at customer premises, liaise with customer and sales teams throughout the projects and more.

Mr Megahey continues: “Our team wants to see young people develop and thrive within their roles. By applying for this programme they will benefit from on-the-job training and solve real-world business problems.

“Our goal is to encourage them to be the best they can be.”

The launch of the programme comes as Barclay Communications experienced a surge in demand for cloud telephony systems since BT announced its intentions to switch off all traditional ISDN and PSTN lines by December 2025.

It has recently secured some of its biggest contracts to date including work with Cambridge University and firmus energy and recently renewed an extensive contract with Irn Bru.

It has also grown its team by 20 members this year alone to employ a 110 strong workforce and invested more than £2m in the business.

For more information on the apprenticeship programme visit https://www.barclaycomms.com/telecoms-engineer-apprenticeship/