BT doubles number of apprenticeships

BT is doubling its apprenticeship intake this year to over 400, after receiving massive demand for the scheme in August.

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BT is doubling its apprenticeship intake this year to over 400, after receiving massive demand for the scheme in August.

The news follows the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review last week, which dealt a blow to the IT industry, affecting both public and private sector IT jobs.

When BT launched its apprenticeship scheme earlier this year, it reportedly received 24,000 applied for 221 positions. On the basis of this strong demand for its scheme, the telecoms company is now planning to recruit more than 200 additional apprentices by Christmas for its Openreach division, which manages the UK’s local access networks.

“We’re now doubling our intake of apprenticeships this autumn given the number of strong applications we received and the fact we’re keen to train young people to help us deliver fibre broadband over the next few years,” BT said.

BT has so far rolled out fibre broadband to more than two million premises, and aims to increase this to four million by the end of 2010, and to more than 10 million by 2012. It expects to connect two-thirds (around 16.5 million premises) of UK premises by 2015.

Successful candidates usually specialise in IT, telecoms, electrical systems or customer service and will eventually obtain a BTEC qualification or foundation degree. Apprentices usually start on salaries between £12,000 and £15,000.

In September, BT announced its return to the university milk round circuit, looking for 133 recruits for its 2011 graduate scheme. It was also the first time that BT’s Global Services division will be recruiting 30 graduates across Europe, the Middle East, United States and Asia Pacific.

Meanwhile, industry experts warned that young people looking for a career in the IT industry may have to start looking at other ways to get in. Apprenticeships were recommended as a possible route in light of the Browne review, which said that funding for computing courses at university may be cut.

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