A Case Study: ITP Apprentice, Sha-Sha Feely (Vorboss)
In the telecoms industry, there's a growing call for diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI). Apprenticeships are becoming key players in this transformation, offering a path into telecoms for people from all backgrounds. These programmes, combining theory with hands-on experience, are not just shaping the next generation of professionals but reshaping the industry itself.
Take Sha-Sha Feely, an ITP apprentice, as an example. She started her journey in Telecoms with the Level 3 Unified Communications apprenticeship and is now the Operations Lead at Vorboss.
Her journey highlights the impact of apprenticeships, not just on businesses but on individuals. She shares, "I found my apprenticeship online while searching for new job opportunities. I wasn’t looking for apprenticeships, but I’m ecstatic that I happened to find this one; it has truly changed my life!"
Sha Sha is currently an Operations Lead at Vorboss, having been recruited through the ITP Apprenticeship Scheme
Diversity in telecoms is more than a tick box exercise; it's a celebration of unique voices, experiences, and perspectives. Sha-Sha, a mixed-race woman with no prior telecoms experience, embodies the diverse opportunities apprenticeships offer. She says, "I was given a space to exist and develop amongst people from a wide range of backgrounds." Embracing diversity goes beyond the outwardly visible; it's about building a vibrant and innovative workforce that reflects the complexity of the global telecommunications landscape.
Sha-Sha remembers a quote from Ginni Rometty, "Diversity is a quota, but inclusion is a choice," and this is something that has stuck with her. True inclusion is about creating an environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and has equal opportunities to success. Concerns which she had when applying for the role was about doing a physical job and taking sick days for her periods but these were addressed at Vorboss, where period days are provided without question.
It's not just about support for women; there are initiatives in place for everyone. Vorboss adjusts working hours during Ramadan and celebrates Pride Month with 'paint with pride' events for example. ‘These initiatives showcase how small, intentional actions can make a significant difference’ quotes Feely.
As perceptions evolve, the industry sees the impact of an inclusive approach. Sha-Sha's journey emphasises that diversity, inclusion and equity aren't just moral imperatives; they're essential for personal and professional growth.
Looking forward, the vision is clear – a telecoms industry where apprentices, no matter their background, progress and thrive. Apprenticeships, Sha-Sha emphasises, break the traditional mould, offering equal opportunities for career advancement and challenging preconceived perceptions about who can succeed in telecoms.
Embracing diversity, inclusion, and equity through apprenticeships in our sector isn't just the right thing to do; it's a strategic investment. It's about creating an industry that meets future demands and reflects the rich diversity of the world it connects. Each apprentice's journey is a step toward a more inclusive, innovative, and sustainable workforce for the future. It's time for the industry to answer the call and embark on a transformative journey that celebrates the power of diversity in unity.