BT today announced that it is recruiting over 100 new apprentices and graduates in Northern Ireland as part of its companywide drive to equip young people with the skills and training needed to meet the challenges of a changing jobs market.
The majority of the apprentice roles will be engineering based, while the remainder of apprentice and graduate roles will include customer service, software development, fleet management and supply chain management. The jobs will be spread across a number of locations in Northern Ireland including Belfast, Derry and Enniskillen.
Commenting on the announcement, Mairead Meyer, Managing Director of Networks at BT in Northern Ireland, said: ‘It is an exciting time to join BT as it continues to invest in ultrafast broadband and the roll out of Superfast fibre broadband. We are also preparing for future technologies, including 5G, and so we want to recruit the very best. Our apprenticeship roles will offer people the hands on experience they need to succeed.
‘Young people today need three key skills – literacy, numeracy 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. This is the right thing for us to do if Northern Ireland is to remain a digital leader.’
Scott Gilmore, a recent BT networks apprentice added: ‘Joining BT was the best decision I ever made. Throughout my life, I have always been interested in doing a hands on and practical job and was lucky enough to be chosen as an apprentice.
‘After a challenging and intensive training course, I began work on the programme. It’s such an interesting job and I have been privileged to learn from the best and to work on some of the most complex broadband jobs across the BT network.
‘BT provided me with all the support I needed every step of the way and they have a fantastic ‘buddy’ system in place with qualified BT engineers. I have now completed my apprenticeship and I am delighted to be working as a fully qualified fibre optic engineer. I’d encourage everyone to think about applying for this apprenticeship programme and I highly recommend it!’
BT is committed to building a culture of tech literacy within the UK so that the country remains a digital leader. This announcement supports the recent figures released by BT highlighting that as part of this latest uptake, the company aims to recruit 1,700 apprentices and graduates across the UK – which builds on the employment of nearly 2,500 in the past two years.
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 9,105 pupils in Northern Ireland, 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.
BT is one of Northern Ireland’s largest employers. According to a recent report by Regeneris Consulting*, the company supports around 5,440 jobs through direct employment, spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees – and gave a massive boost of £470 million to the Northern Ireland economy in the past year.