BT is creating 1,000 new apprenticeships and graduate jobs for young people this year, with the new recruits working in a range of areas including software development, IT, engineering and digital technology. A "large number", said BT, will work at BT's research and development headquarters at Adastral Park, near Ipswich in Suffolk.
The 1,000 apprenticeship and graduate jobs announced are in addition to the 1,000 the company created last year. In addition, BT said it will take on 1,000 out of work youngsters for vocational and work experience placements during the 2015/16 financial year.
A number of BT's apprentices will also begin new degree apprenticeships, which start this September, allowing them to complete full honours degrees while working. Careers ranging from business analysis to software development and technology consultancy will be available at BT, as part of the new government and industry-backed scheme.
Welcoming the announcement, prime minister David Cameron said: "I'm delighted that BT is creating 1,000 new apprenticeships and graduate jobs. Today's announcement underlines BT's commitment to training young people and gives them the security of a monthly pay packet and the chance of a better future."
Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT, said: "The UK's future as a technology leader hinges on young people getting the skills, support and training they need to create successful careers in science, engineering and IT.
"These new recruits will have the opportunity to work in fields such as technology research, engineering, IT and TV, helping to create and build the next generation of communications technologies for the UK."
A large number of the apprenticeship and graduate intake will be based at BT's research campus at Adastral Park. This means many apprentices and graduates will be working on projects developing the future of broadband, broadcasting, wireless and mobile technologies. BT recently announced its ambition to transform the UK broadband landscape from "superfast" to "ultrafast" using cutting-edge G.fast technology. This is being developed at Adastral Park and will help BT deliver ultrafast speeds of up to 500mbps to "most of the UK within a decade", it says.
As part of the UK employer-led initiative Movement to Work, the taking on of out of work youngsters will see "traineeships" offered to young people aged 18-24, involving four to seven week long work placements offering vocational training, employability skills and work experience.
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