BT work placements helping Belfast youngsters kick start their careers

BT has been helping young people in Belfast kick start their working life with free work placements. The three-week Work Ready programme course combines hands-on work experience and tech know-how with coaching and training. It is open to anyone aged 16 to 24 not currently in education, employment or training.

BT has been organising work placements for young people in Belfast to help them kick start their careers.

It’s part of the leading Northern Ireland employer’s Work Ready programme, which is run in conjunction with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation.

The three-week course combines hands-on work experience with coaching and training. It is open to anyone aged 16 to 24, not currently in education, employment or training.

The first week of the programme is mainly office-based and focuses on building and developing key skills such as writing a stand out CV and job application, interview techniques, self-confidence and computing.This is followed by a week ‘on the job’ with work placements in different sections of BT.

Belfast teenagers, Aaron O’Neill, Conor Pollock, Taylor Scott and Peter Lynch took part in the programme and were keen to get a tour of the Belfast City Exchange and get a look behind the scenes because of their shared interest in engineering.

Aaron said: “We’re all really interested in the BT apprenticeship scheme, so this work placement is a great opportunity to find out how things work and get an idea of what it’s like to be a BT engineer.”

After showing the group around every floor, Transmission Support Engineer, Tommy Rainey, said: “They certainly kept me on my toes, asking good questions. It’s fantastic to see they’re all really interested in the equipment and want to find out all they can.”

With the support of the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and Active Communities Network, the BT Work Ready Programme provides mentoring and helps young people develop the skills and confidence they need to find employment.

Mairead Meyer, Managing Director of NI Networks, said: “Our work placement programme is helping young people experience working days in a variety of settings. It gives them an idea of what to expect in the workplace, but also allows them to think about the sort of job they’d be interested in doing.

“I’m proud so many of our team got involved, passing on valuable insights which will help these young people develop the skills they need to find employment.”

Jim Donnelly, Head of Programmes NI for Active Communities Network said: "This is an exciting new partnership that is bringing a real energy into creating employment opportunities for our tremendous young people in Belfast and we are delighted to be involved."

The final days of the work placement are spent doing mock interviews and developing an individual plan of the next steps to find employment or return to education. Attendees are given a certificate showing their achievements to demonstrate their commitment to prospective employers.

To find out more or to apply visit www.bt.com/workready.



For media enquiries, please contact:

Rosy Billingham, PR Manager for BT in Northern Ireland, by email rosy.billingham@bt.com or phone 07968 904635