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Customer Support Apprentice Desk-Based Project Management
BT Openreach

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Caroline W

00:00:03 Hi, I’m Caroline. I work for desk-based project management in BT in Birmingham. In desk-based project management, we support the project managers with the larger projects that they have. At the moment, I’m doing one for Nationwide, and it’s worth a hundred and sixty-eight million pounds and there’s eight hundred sites, so there’s a lot of things that need to be done and it needs to be kept organised. At the moment, we’ve just been calling the different sites and just organising appointments with them and making job packs for the engineers for each of the sites as well.

00:00:39 From about the age of twelve, I wanted to be an accountant. I think I found out how much they earn, maybe. Since starting work, I’ve definitely felt that I need to enjoy the job more than I need the money, so I definitely am glad I didn’t go down the route of accountancy.

00:01:00 I was looking to do a business management degree. I wasn’t really sure where I was going to go after that, but I did business, economics, maths and psychology A levels. In my first year, I completely flunked maths because it was just something that you have to keep up with all the time. I get really distracted by social situations, like I love meeting new people, and I think that’s one of the things that held me back at school because I just wanted to chat all the time and not really do my work. So I didn’t really feel like I was concentrating that well, so I decided that uni really wasn’t for me.

00:01:39 That was a really big turning point because I just… It really started to sink in that I had to actually do something with my life and that I couldn’t just be at school all the time. I just felt that I really wanted to make something of myself and prove to myself that I can do a lot better than I had to.

00:01:59 When you’re at school, it’s really drummed into you that you go to college, and then university, and that was really the only path that I saw for myself. But when my cousin left school, she went straight into an apprenticeship and she really enjoyed it. She seemed to grow up a lot quicker and had lots of responsibilities. I’m in my third year of the apprenticeship now and I’ve been there two and a half years. I’m due to finish early in April just because I’ve got to a point where I’m fully active in my work role and I don’t really need to be an apprentice anymore.

00:02:35 My parents have always been quite laid back and they’ve not really like pushed me into doing anything. They’ve just let me do what I want to do. So when I told them that I was going for the apprenticeship, I think they were quite pleased. My dad is actually a bus driver, and he’s done various driving things like a driving instructor, and my mum actually has Asperger’s Syndrome, so she just works in a charity shop. She finds it quite hard to get into work at the moment, so I think that inspired me, as well, just wanting to get into work. I think she was quite proud of that.

00:03:11: In the apprenticeship we got the opportunity to go to Africa, and I think if I hadn’t been in BT I wouldn’t have ever done anything like that. I had to climb a mountain and I’m definitely not into sports or anything like that, so that was a major challenge. When we reached the first camp, I was so relieved that I just burst out crying and I was just like ‘I can’t go on,’ and everyone was like ‘You can, you can make it. We’re all in it together.’ The mountain was four thousand five hundred and sixty-five feet high. I got to four thousand three hundred. The last couple of hundred feet would have took five hours, and it just got to the point where I was just like ‘I cannot go any further.’ I still can’t believe that I did it now. They made a DVD, and every time I watch it I’m just like ‘Oh my god, that was me. I went there.’

00:04:00 End


Apprentice at BT Caroline W realised that her planned course of a business degree was not the right route for her and after seeing her cousin suceed decided to embark on an apprenticeship. This has given her a wide variety of training and challenges including a trip to climb a mountain in Africa.

More information about Customer service managers and supervisors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

50%  male 
50%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Job holders in this unit group plan, organise and co-ordinate resources necessary for receiving and dealing with the responses, complaints or further requirements of purchasers and users of a product or service, and supervise customer service occupations.
There are no pre-set entry requirements. Candidates are recruited with a variety of academic qualifications and/or relevant experience. Specialist qualifications may be required for work within certain sectors.
  • Develops and implements policies and procedures to deal effectively with customer requirements and complaints;
  • Co-ordinates and controls the work of those within customer services departments;
  • Discusses customer responses with other managers with a view to improving the product or service provided;
  • Plans and co-ordinates the operations of help and advisory services to provide support for customers and users.
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