National Apprenticeship Week - Hannah Hargreaves, Openreach

Hannah did a few jobs before her current role as an Openreach Service Delivery trainee engineer on a Level 2 apprenticeship. She completed a retail apprenticeship before working in a bank, and was working in one of BT’s call centres when she had her daughter, Meredith, now two. When she went back to work after maternity leave at the age of 30, she knew she wanted a change, and successfully applied for the field engineer role.

She hasn’t looked back since! She loves the freedom and independence she feels in what is also a structured role, and for someone who wouldn’t venture outside in inclement weather has learned to ignore the wind and rain that she faces in her out-and-about job. In fact, she loves it so much, her husband has left his job as a prison officer and has also become an Openreach trainee engineer, with a role in fibre network delivery! Hannah blogs to encourage young people, particular young women, to consider a career in engineering. Her message is ‘Got for it! You’d be surprised what you’re capable of, and won’t know if you don’t give it a go!’ 

Having moved from a call centre role, Hannah is now seeing things from the customer’s point of view in a new way. She’s part of a Challenge Cup team which is aiming not only to save millions of pounds for the company from ineffective engineer visits, but will also reduce customer complaints; they are devising some additional training on engineering technology which call centre staff can use to make better decisions in conversations with customers.

Although she works in male-dominated role, she’s had nothing but support from colleagues and feels as equally valued and respected as anyone else, with colleagues, including her coach/assessor, always ready to share their knowledge and give encouragement. Occasionally a customer is surprised; one told her she was unlikely to be able to fix a particularly complex problem, involving a dropwire across a river to deliver connectivity to a remote site, and the customer’s doubt only kindled Hannah’s resolve. Needless to say, she sorted it and left him impressed with her competence.

Hannah particularly enjoys coaching and mentoring others and passing on her knowledge, and hopes to move into a training or coach role in the future. 


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