On Monday 2nd August Pod Training and Consultancy welcomed our first group of telecoms apprentices, who started an 18-month tower climbing journey.
This apprenticeship scheme has been developed in collaboration with Exeter College and will see 8 apprentices embark on an 18-month telecoms training journey with Beacon Communications and POD Training. During this time, they will climb communication structures, learn about health and safety procedures and first aid for working at heights and work in teams to become Wireless Communications Riggers.
The apprentices will be working in a variety of environments including rooftop sites, towers and masts in greenfield sites or inner-city buildings, up and down the UK. Out in the field, they will learn and develop their knowledge of the telecoms industry with experienced engineers.
Some of the duties they will take on as telecommunications engineers will be:
- Carrying out antenna installation, alignment, optimisation and testing to network requirements
- Carrying out installation, earthing and termination of coax and fibre following manufacturers and operators’ installation specifications
- Carrying out installation and demonstrate the technical understanding of the key components of a wireless telecom site
- Using an Open, Short and Precision Load in the testing of cables and antenna systems for impedance and loss
As the UK embraces the digital economy, the dependence on wireless communication platforms to handle larger data packages, fast delivery and wider coverage continues. When the apprenticeship finishes, they will be highly in-demand workers who have a practical set of skills and a job that takes them all over the country seeing the best views.
Our telecoms apprentices will need to be ready to be working at height, and outdoors in all weather conditions. When we asked them why they chose tower climbing as a career, they told us they were looking for something different and wanted a new challenge, and cited their love of heights. If you don’t get on with heights, this job probably isn’t for you. The most difficult aspect of the job, according to the apprentices, is the early mornings.
Some of the telecoms training the apprentices have completed at POD include Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue, Manual Handling, Asbestos Awareness, Roof Access, Radio Frequency & Basic Mobile Networks, as well as first aid courses like Emergency First Aid at Work with Heights.