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Laura Harridence

Quality Assurance Professional at BT

L Harridence

Laura Harridence

Laura has been working at BT for 37 years and has held numerous management positions over that time. Laura’s most current role as a Quality Assurance Professional aims to support learners in receiving a positive, safe and consistent apprenticeship experience, by working closely with external training providers to ensure quality education.

BT has used apprenticeships as a platform to hire, develop and retain great people for over 60 years, so has a lot of experience in welcoming apprentices and making sure that they have a great learning experience as they develop the job skills needed in order to be successful. Laura feels that apprentices bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to the business, which is truly valued. At BT, apprenticeships are used to help the organisation grow their own talent in areas where they have identified future skills gaps – such as in Digital and Cyber Security at higher or degree levels. BT has a very high retention rate, with many apprentices staying and progressing throughout the company many years after their apprenticeship comes to an end.

Laura works collaboratively with the business and university to find creative ways to strike the balance between work and study commitments, with an additional focus on mental health and wellbeing.

When asked how Laura would summarise the employer experience of apprenticeships in light of the COVID pandemic, she described 2020 as ‘challenging, innovative and rewarding’.