Ryan’s journey from Apprentice to Learning Specialist
‘I don’t ever see myself moving away from the company.’
How did you start your career at Sky?
I joined Sky as a Contact Centre Apprentice in September of 2016 – we would speak to our customers and support them if they had any technical issues with their broadband or their telephone.
Why did you decide on becoming a Contact Centre Apprentice?
I had the idea that I wanted to go into full-time employment, I didn’t want to really do further education as such. I just wanted to start working, start earning money, and to go on from there. With the apprenticeship option, I thought that’s a really good way to get started into full-time employment.
At Sky, you’ve almost got that extra support and the extra bit of learning along the way. I think it really set me up for for a good career in Sky and it’s been really beneficial going down that route.
What skills did you gain on the Contact Centre Apprentice?
I think confidence is probably the biggest skill that I’ve gained. The longer it you work on the role, your confidence just grows. That’s something that you can take into any role afterwards.
I would just say being able to have natural conversations with people and really be able to speak to the customers, listen to what they’re saying and really help and support them. That goes a long way with any other role you do.
What is your current role at Sky and how did you get into it?
I provide training for people who are new into the business or upskilling current members of staff. When you’re doing something like that, the ability to listen and adapt what you’re doing to help somebody on their learning journey is really vital.
I started off as the Contact Centre Apprentice. While was doing the apprenticeship, I got an opportunity to do some floor walking. That’s where we had a group of new starters and they had finished their training and they were just starting to take calls for the first time.
I got that opportunity to go and support people while they take their first few calls. During that, I got an opportunity to fly out to Dublin and to floor-walk the launch of our live messaging system, which was a great opportunity to go out and learn a different working environment.
Eventually, I moved into the SIM role, which stands for stepping into management. That’s where Sky give advisors the opportunity to move into a leader role and go along a program. It was almost like an apprenticeship to become a Customer Service Leader in the contact centre.
What I managed to do there was find the job which I’m in just now, the Learning Specialist role, where I could work with my passion.
What challenges did you encounter on the Contact Centre Apprenticeship?
The biggest challenge for me probably was just getting used to to the working life. Going from school and having a laugh with my friends to going in to work, doing a full week of working and having that that social life aspect on the side as well.
It took its toll to start with and it was hard to get used to. I had my own leader at the time who was really good with that and somebody to talk to if it was hard or if you were struggling with it.
What support have you received at Sky?
When I first started as an apprentice, everyone took an interest in me. Even managers who weren’t my own direct in the contact centre took a great interest in supporting me. You do just feel supported when you go in the contact centre.
How long you’ve been at the company doesn’t matter when it comes to taking an opportunity at Sky. If you work hard and if you’ve got the right attitude; then if you’ve been there three weeks or three years you’ll get that opportunity.
Would you recommend the Contact Centre Apprenticeship at Sky?
A hundred percent – it’s the best decision I ever made. I’ve learned so much from it and progressed an awful lot in a short space of time, which I only hope continues in the next four years and so on after that.
I don’t ever see myself moving away from the company, which says a lot as to why you’d want to come in and work for the company yourself. The apprenticeship route especially is great for first-time work.
Even if it’s not your first job and even if it’s not your first time in a contact centre, the amount of support and ease into the role was great. I’d encourage anyone who is even semi-interested to get involved because it’s a fantastic opportunity that hopefully you won’t miss.