Celebration for BT Work Ready graduates in London

A group of young people in London have learned vital digital skills and had coaching to help them land jobs, as part of a BT scheme that has already helped more than 3,200 unemployed young adults.

A celebration event was held on Friday, 28 January, at the BT Tower in Fitzrovia, to mark the graduation of 40 people who took part in a 10-day BT Work Ready Programme.

Theo Blackwell, London’s chief digital officer, attended to present certificates to the graduates. The participants, all aged between 18 and 24, have received training and work experience with the technology firm to help them in their future careers.

BT’s Work Ready programme, in partnership with charity Movement to Work (MtW), is helping thousands of young people not in education, employment or training across the UK. The programme equips them with vital skills and work experience for a career in an increasingly digital world.

Kerensa Jennings, BT’s Digital Impact Director, said: “Our Work Ready programme is designed to boost young peoples’ opportunities by inspiring them into a career in the digital workforce. We are helping them develop employability and digital skills and providing access to work experience. The programme helps young people acquire the hard and soft skills needed by employers and provides support to get into work through coaching and job networking opportunities.

“The programme is well established with over 3,200 young people graduating since 2014. More than 56% of those completing the course have gone on to get a job, an apprenticeship or moved into further education.”

Work Ready programme graduate Maisy Osbon, 24, from Dartford, said she was grateful for the experience: “It has helped me hone skills I didn’t know I had like business and technical skills. I’ve had coaching to dramatically improve my CV and it’s given me a lot more confidence."

London’s Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, said: “Improving people’s digital skills boosts their employability and social inclusion. The Mayor and I are committed to building a more inclusive economy – and schemes such as his £7 million Digital Talent Programme is helping tackle digital skills gaps and address the under-representation of women and Londoners of black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. BT’s Work Ready scheme is a great example of how we can create more opportunities for everyone to thrive in the digital economy.”

Youth unemployment remains a persistent and stubborn challenge in the UK. The national youth unemployment rate was 11.13 per cent in September - November 2019, compared with 3.8% for the whole population.

The Work Ready programme is part of BT Skills for Tomorrow – a new digital skills initiative to help 10 million people, families and businesses across the UK get the skills they need by 2025. For more information see here