BT is creating more than 1,000 apprenticeship and graduate jobs in IT technology, research and engineering.
The telecoms giant plans to scour the UK for an estimated 300 science, technology and business graduates, with 730 school and college leavers being offered apprenticeships in engineering, software design, IT support, finance and logistics.
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BT will also offer roles in digital media technology, which includes skills in web development, digital networks, digital TV and digital media distribution.
Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, said: “It’s good news that BT is delivering 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 graduate and apprentice recruitment will be based at BT’s research campus at Adastral Park, near Ipswich in Suffolk. Here candidates will work on a range of projects including the future of broadcasting and wireless technology, big data and the Internet of Things.
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Clive Selley, chief executive of BT’s technology, service and operations, 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.”
In addition BT has pledged to offer 1,500 vocational training and work experience placements for young people over the next 18 months, as part of the Movement to Work scheme. The scheme is backed by the Prince’s Trust and the Government.
Through the programme BT will be offering 18-24-year-olds seven-week-long work placements.
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.”