BT has revealed plans to create jobs for more than 1,000 apprentices and graduates this year, but warned that not enough young people in the UK were equipped with the skills to work in innovative new industries.
The company plans to hire around 300 of the UK’s top science, technology and business graduates looking for a career in IT and telecoms, which would be double the 150 graduates it employed last year. Around 730 apprenticeships will be offered to school and college leavers in engineering, software design,digital media technology, IT support, finance and logistics – up on last year’s intake of 600 apprentices.
Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT, said: “This is a tough time in the job market, with almost a million young people across the UK struggling to find work. Every company needs to play its part in ensuring that Britain’s future workforce isn’t impaired by long-term unemployment.”
Young people in Britain have been among the worst affected by the financial crisis. The latest available figures from the Office for National Statistics show the jobless rate among Britain’s 16- to 24-year-olds was 19.9% in the final quarter of 2013, well ahead of the 7.2% rate for the population overall.