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BT closes graduate recruitment scheme

Alex Scroxton

BT has become the first major UK employer to close its graduate recruitment scheme as a result of the recession.

The communications giant remains committed to its 2009 intake, but those hoping to be taken on in September 2010 will be disappointed.

BT says it saw 4,800 applications for just 130 jobs in the 2008-9 year, up by 1,000 on 2006-7.

"At the present time, there is no timeline for re-entry," BT said in a statement.

The supplier, which has been hit particularly hard by problems at its services business, is cutting 15,000 employees across the board this year, on top of thousands more redundancies last winter. It has also implemented a pay freeze.

Meanwhile, the CBI today called on the government to address the problem of youth unemployment, urging Westminster to divert up to £125m of its £500m subsidy fund to tackle unemployment into funding 50,000 apprenticeships.

"Young people are being hardest hit by unemployment and the government must increase the opportunities available to limit its scarring effects," said CBI director general Richard Lambert.

"Business also needs to support young people by offering more apprenticeships, internships, work experience and mentoring opportunities," he added.

Official figures show that 19% of 16 to 24-year olds are currently unemployed, compared to 7.8% of the general population.

The statistics, compiled by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, also show each young person not in employment, education or training costs the taxpayer £97,000 over their lifetime in resource and public finance costs, as well as being markedly more likely to be involved in crime.


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