BT announces major new recruitment of apprentices across the West Midlands
BT today announced it is creating about 26 new apprenticeship jobs in the West Midlands in its drive to equip young people with the skills and training needed to meet the challenges of a changing jobs market.
The apprentices will be recruited in locations such as Birmingham, Coventry, Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Stoke-on-Trent, Walsall and Worcester.
This year’s BT apprentice and graduate recruitment, which includes mobile operator EE, will see the new employees work in a variety of roles, ranging from customer service, vehicle maintenance and finance to cyber security and software development.
BT is committed to building a culture of tech literacy within the UK so that the country remains a digital leader. The latest recruitment of 1,700 apprentices and graduates across the UK builds on the employment of nearly 2,500 in the past two years.
Among them is Amelia Cooper, aged 20, from Halesowen, now in the second year of her ICT apprenticeship, who, by joining BT, is following in the footsteps of her dad, Michael, and sister, Annabelle.
Amelia, who is based at BT’s broadband hub in Walsall, said: “With an apprenticeship you can earn and learn at the same time, and get a qualification. I have always enjoyed ICT, which is a bonus. I have learnt different things throughout my apprenticeship. There are new opportunities arising every day, and I have learned about different roles in the company.”
A number of the latest recruits will also be based at BT’s world-recognised labs at Adastral Park, near Ipswich, in Suffolk. This research centre is at the forefront of developing communications networks and is playing a leading role in the development of ultrafast broadband and 5G.
The company also funds and runs Barefoot Computing, a project that helps primary school teachers get confident with teaching computer science. One million children, including more than 43,000 in the West Midlands have already been reached via the programme, which sees primary school teachers provided with resources and training, and BT plans to reach five million UK children by 2020.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Robert Halfon, has welcomed the announcement. He said: “It is always good to talk about apprenticeships and the ladder of opportunity they give people to secure the career they want.
“By committing to injecting 1,700 new graduate and apprentice jobs into the UK, BT is offering a real chance to be trained by some of the best in their field. This is especially great news ahead of what will be the 10th annual National Apprenticeship Week where we will showcase the life-changing potential of apprenticeships for people up and down the country.”
Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT, said: “Young people today need three basic skills – reading, writing, and tech know-how. BT is investing in the next generation, helping to train primary school teachers to teach computer science and recruiting large numbers of apprentices and graduates. This is the right thing for us to do if the UK is to remain a digital leader.
“It is an exciting time to join BT as it continues to invest in ultrafast broadband, 4G, television and sport. We are also preparing for future technologies, including 5G, and so we want to recruit the very best. Our apprenticeship and graduate roles will offer people the hands on experience they need to succeed.”
Colin Bannon, chairman of BT’s West Midlands regional board, said: “This latest major recruitment is a further example of BT’s commitment to the West Midlands as one of the region’s leading employers and investors. We are offering exciting, high quality careers in a fast moving industry in order to ensure the households and businesses of this region are able to benefit from the latest, first class communications. The new recruits will be joining a world-leading company, which has already invested hundreds of millions of pounds in the West Midlands in technologies such as superfast broadband and 4G.”
BT is one of the UK’s largest employers with 81,000 UK-based people. According to a recent report by Regeneris Consulting, the company supports around 15,800 jobs in the West Midlands through direct employment, spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees - and gives an annual boost to the region’s economy worth £1.28 billion.
Openreach, BT’s local network business, will launch its own recruitment drive in due course.
Notes to Editors:
• Graduates can apply for roles at BT at: http://www.btgraduates.com
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BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.
For the year ended 31 March 20161, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,012m with reported profit before taxation of £2,907m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
1The results for the period have been revised to reflect the outcome of the investigation into our Italian business. Detail of which is set out in our third quarter results announcement published on 27 January 2017. This financial information is unaudited.
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