Virgin Media O2 and Good Things Foundation have partnered to launch a new apprenticeship programme where successful candidates will gain professional qualifications alongside undertaking critical work to increase digital inclusion across the UK.
The telecommunications firm has gifted around £200,000 to fund the ‘Good Things Foundation Future Skills Academy’ which will be delivered by EdTech provider Multiverse with the schemes ranging from Level 3 (the equivalent of A Level) right through to Level 6 (undergraduate degree level).
The analytical apprenticeship schemes delivered by Multiverse will help successful candidates develop business critical skills such as data analysis and project management.
As part of their schemes, the apprentices will split their time between working for organisations in Good Things Foundation’s National Digital Inclusion Network and working towards their fully funded apprenticeship qualification, which would not be possible without support from Virgin Media O2.
The skills candidates will learn through their apprenticeship will help them to digitally transform their organisation. It is envisioned this will free up their time and reduce costs, enabling them to provide even greater support to people who are digitally excluded in their communities.
In June 2021, Virgin Media O2 committed to hiring more than 1,000 apprentices, and earlier this year announced plans to hire more than 350 apprentices into the business in 2023.
Karen Handley, Head of Future Careers at Virgin Media O2, said: “As one of the UK’s largest apprenticeship providers, we know the real difference that apprentices can make to an organisation which is why we’re proud to help fund the Good Things Foundation’s Future Skills Academy.
“Through their apprenticeship schemes candidates will learn the skills that will help them tackle digital exclusion in their communities.”
“We’re committed to helping eradicate data poverty in the UK, and through our work in partnership with Good Things Foundation, we’re getting more people online and connected than ever before.”
Helen Milner OBE, Group Chief Executive, Good Things Foundation said “Data literacy and business transformation skills are becoming increasingly vital to help future-proof organisations. These are the skills of the future that will help organisations adapt and respond to rapid technological development.
“Through partnering with Virgin Media O2 and Multiverse, we are offering members of our National Digital Inclusion Network access to fully funded professional development in business-critical skills. This opportunity will help build organisation resilience for members of our network so that they can continue to provide vital services to fix the digital divide in local communities.”
Jeremy Duggan, President of Multiverse said: “The pace of technological change is leaving far too many people behind without access to the skills and tools they need to thrive. Addressing this problem is an objective that unites Multiverse, Virgin Media O2 and Good Things Foundation.
Through our partnership, we’ll empower individuals with the data and digital skills that not only open up their own careers, but also support the essential work of the organisations they belong to. Apprenticeships are simply the best way to deliver those skills, because the future of learning is working; applying skills everyday, in real-world settings.”
As well as working together on the Good Things Foundation’s Future Skills Academy, Virgin Media O2 and Good Things Foundation founded the National Databank in July 2021, where people in need can access 20GB of free O2 data – enough for around 220 hours of internet browsing – per month.
Since the National Databank was launched, Virgin Media O2 has provided more than 70,000 free O2 SIM cards and 50,000 free O2 data vouchers and has committed more than 61 million GB of free O2 data to the initiative by the end of 2025.