In a move aimed at future-proofing its skills base, Irish telecoms operator Eircom is to recruit 375 apprentices and graduates over the next five years in an €18m investment.
The move comes as Eircom moves to next-generation fibre networks that will traverse all corners of Ireland. Last summer, the company surpassed 1m homes capable of receiving 100Mbps broadband.
As well as this, the company revealed that 66 towns across Ireland will be connected to 1Gbps services.
Eircom has accelerated its initial target of 1.4m homes connected to 100Mbps by the end of 2016 to achieve this by the end of 2015 instead.
Eircom’s Apprentice Programme will create 300 of the new jobs and will recruit 60 apprentices per year.
Eircom’s Graduate Programme will also run over five years and will take in 15 honours graduates per year who will be divided into Eircom’s general graduate programme and its specialised finance graduate programme. This year’s programme will begin in September and run for two years.
Under the Apprentice Programme, apprentices will have the opportunity to work as customer service and assurance technicians, where the primary focus will be on the maintenance and repair of equipment in Eircom’s network to provide the highest levels of service to customers.
The structured two-year programme will provide on-the-job learning, one-to-one coaching and formal classroom training. Successful applicants will also receive a Level 6 FETAC Telecommunications Access Networks Technology Major Award. Following the successful completion of each two-year programme, top performers will be offered full-time roles with Eircom.
This programme builds on the success of a pilot apprentice programme that ran in 2011. Of the 75 apprentices who entered that programme, 55 remain in full-time positions with the company.
Successful graduates who emerge from Eircom’s Graduate Programme will have the opportunity to work on up to four different rotations, each one supported by a dedicated Eircom mentor. During each rotation, the graduates will work as a team on a business improvement project for Eircom – sponsored by a senior executive within Eircom.
A number of the graduates will also participate in a national project with graduates from different industry sectors, for example, financial services, FMCG and transportation sectors.
Graduates with finance qualifications will remain within the finance shared service function and will work on a number of different and interesting projects over the two years, all the while being supported in their studies towards their accounting qualification.
Following the successful completion of the training programmes, top performers in both programmes will be offered full-time roles with Eircom.
Investing in people at scale
“We are the only company in the telecommunications sector investing in people at scale, providing excellent sustainable employment,” explained Eircom’s chief executive Richard Moat.
“This is a key element in the ongoing transformation of the group, and one we feel passionately about. These programmes are an integral part of our growth strategy. All of the 375 apprentices and graduates who come into the company over the next five years will be working as part of our team either on the frontline building Ireland’s communications network or providing innovative new products and services to our growing customer base.
“We are committed to investing in our future, both in the new technology we are rolling out and also in our people. As such, these programmes also represent a major investment by Eircom in the future of the Irish economy.”
Career Scrabble image, via Flazingo Photos/Flickr.com