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Haider Ali

HR apprentice

About you

I joined BT as an apprentice in September 2016 working in London across BT Centre and Faraday. Joining at the age of 23, I’m one of the older apprentices, having completed college and worked in retail for almost 3 years before joining BT.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

Having gone to university for a year, I soon realized at the time it was not for me, I joined my previous job in a cinema within a retail environment. It gave me a good understanding of the real-world of work, however it was not something I wanted to pursue in the long-term. I wanted to find an opportunity where I can earn and learn at the same time, and be qualified in a profession which can provide me with a broad, fulfilling career. I chose BT because I wanted to work for a big company that I can build a career in, and from the outset I knew there was opportunities within BT due to the amount of early talent programmes they offer.

What are your key responsibilities?

Throughout the duration of my apprenticeship, I rotate within areas in HR every 6 months, however the key responsibilities are pretty universal in working with people both internally within the business and externally. Delivering good customer service and ensuring the best place to work. My first rotation within BT was in Recruitment, processing the ‘right to work’ documents and ensuring the smooth on-boarding of new hires into the business and also dealing with internal recruitment of people moving roles within the business. My second rotation was in the HR Services Change and Transformation team, understanding what HR Services areas do and working on changing current processes within HR and the HR Systems used within BT. I am currently working in BT Consumer in HR for Customer Care, which involves working on best practice surrounding the customer contact centres in regards to ‘ways of working’, to performance and attendance management.

How did you learn what you need to know to do your job?

The basis of working in HR is working with people, the best way to learn is through experience. As I started within recruitment, I had been paired with a buddy within my team, who trained me on the recruitment process and my line manager slowly eased me into the workload. Once I was comfortable I was able to take on new work. When I started I was given a HR induction to get a real understanding of how it works within BT. As part of my apprenticeship, I have been completed my Level 3 in Business Administration and will start my HR CIPD course till the end of my apprenticeship. My apprenticeship will last 24 months and then I’ll have a qualification and a role hopefully within the company.

Have you had any particular highlights so far?

Over the course of my apprenticeship, I have had a number of highlights to choose from. My first would be getting invited to come along to a school careers day where I attended with an apprentice talent manager, we presented on what apprenticeships are and how they work within BT. I was only two weeks into my apprenticeship and was asked to give my first-hand experience to a large group of year 11’s, which I felt very happy to do, as this wasn’t something I was given when I was in secondary school. Very recently I was given the opportunity to interview the CEO of BT Consumer around the coming changes of the EE/BT integration, which was rather nerve-wracking but exciting at the same time!

What do you like most about your job?

I really enjoy the fact I get to rotate around the business, meet different people from different areas and background. I am learning something new all the time where every day is not the same. People in BT are always willing to help and make sure you are not left alone in a big company like BT.

Do you see yourself staying in BT?

Yes I do. My aim from the start was to get a really good understanding into what HR is and have the opportunity and ability to grow my knowledge of the business. Working for such a big company allows you the opportunity to grow in and there is always so much going on.

Would you recommend a BT apprenticeship to other people?

I would recommend the BT apprenticeship to other people for a number of reasons, all ending in the amount of opportunities you get, it’s a highly recognized company worldwide, which can only better you in building a great career.

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