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BT creating more than a thousand new apprentice and graduate jobs

Press release   •   Feb 27, 2014 00:00 GMT

BT Pledges To Create Up To 1,500 Vocational Training and Work Experience Placements for Unemployed Youngsters 
BT is creating more than 1,000 new apprenticeship and graduate jobs, in a major recruitment boost for UK youngsters. The majority of the new roles will be in the areas of IT, technology research and engineering, with other training programmes available in business and finance. 

BT is casting its net across the UK for around 300 top science, technology and business graduates who want to build their careers in the IT and telecom sector, with one of the UK’s leading investors in research and development. Some 730 apprenticeships will also be offered to school and college leavers in the areas of engineering, software design, IT support, finance and logistics. 

BT has also created a new digital media technology apprenticeship that will provide new recruits with experience and skills in web development, digital networks, digital TV and digital media distribution. 

BT also announced today its commitment to the UK employer-led initiative “Movement to Work”, aimed at tackling youth unemployment, by pledging to provide up to 1,500 vocational training and work experience placements for out of work youngsters over the next 18 months.

Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive of BT, said: “This is a tough time in the job market, with almost a million young people across the UK struggling to find work. Every company needs to play its part in ensuring that Britain’s future workforce isn’t impaired by long-term unemployment.” 

“BT has an exciting future ahead of it, investing in the UK’s high speed broadband infrastructure, and advances in television and digital media. Through new apprenticeships, graduate training and the Movement to Work programme, we want thousands of young people in Britain to share in this future.” 

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, welcomed the announcement, saying: “It’s good news that BT are delivering even more high quality apprenticeships and graduate jobs. Hundreds more people will now be able to get the skills they need to get on and help support sustainable economic growth. 

“Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week I would encourage all employers to follow the lead of firms like BT and recognise the value and dynamism apprentices can offer businesses of all sizes.” 

The majority of the thousand apprenticeship and graduate jobs being created will be in the areas of IT, technology, research, software design and engineering. A large number of BT’s graduate and apprentice intake will be based at BT’s globally recognised research campus at Adastral Park, near Ipswich in Suffolk. Inventions created at Adastral Park now form the basis of the world’s communications networks and services, including pioneering work in fibre optic broadband. 

Technology graduates and technical apprentices will be able to work on a range of cutting edge projects, including the future of broadcasting and wireless technology, Big Data and the Internet of Things, as well as helping pioneer new developments in high speed fibre communication networks. Researchers at BT’s Adastral Park recently worked with Alcatel-Lucent to deliver record breaking data transmission speeds of 1.4 terabits per second over a fibre optic link between the research park and the iconic BT Tower in London. 

Clive Selley, Chief Executive of BT’s Technology, Service & Operations, which will be hiring a large chunk of the apprentices and graduates, said: “There’s a danger that not enough people in the UK are getting the training they need to work in research, development and innovative new industries. That’s why I’m delighted that the majority of these new recruits will work in these fields of engineering and technology research, and that BT can play an extremely positive role by taking them on and advancing their skills through mentoring and training.” 

BT is one of the UK’s leading investors in research and development, investing £3.7 billion in R&D over the last five years. In addition, the company is investing more than £3 billion to roll out fibre broadband across the UK. 

Other posts will be available around the UK, including training as Openreach engineers, and in finance, customer service and business development roles. 

BT also today pledged to provide up to 1,500 vocational training and work experience placements for out of work youngsters over the next 18 months. As part of Movement to Work, a UK employer-led initiative, backed by the Prince’s Trust and the Government, BT will offer 18-24 year olds four to seven week long work placements combining vocational training, employability skills and work experience and, where possible, link this into the company’s future recruitment plans. 

Notes to Editors: 
• Further information on BT’s Apprenticeship Scheme can be found: www.bt4me.co.uk 
• Graduates can apply for roles at BT at: http://www.btgraduates.com 
• For further details about Movement to Work: http://www.movementtowork.com/