BT apprenticeship interest reaches record level

More people have applied to BT's apprenticeship scheme than ever before.

BT

BT has seen unprecedented interest in its apprenticeship scheme in 2010, with 24,000 applications for 221 positions.

In 2009 the number of applicants stood at 9,000, while in 2008 the figure was 10,000.

BT is now considering expanding the scheme, given the level of interest and the communications giant's 2.5 billion fibre broadband project.

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"We'll need engineers to help us deliver superfast broadband and so we hope to tap into the interest that is being shown by young people across the UK," said Alex Wilson, BT's human resources director.

"The BT apprenticeship scheme is a good opportunity for young people to earn and learn, [and] having the chance to get training and a salary is proving to be a popular choice."

The starting salary for apprentices is normally between 11,000 and 14,000, depending on the role, which can range from IT positions to customer service.

BT also raids the graduate skills pool and next year is hoping to have between 120 and 130 places available.

Roles for graduates are split into three categories: business management, technical and functional, the latter covering jobs in areas such as HR.

Starting salaries for graduates are currently being reviewed and have not yet been confirmed.

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While the high level of interest in BT's apprenticeship scheme is encouraging, youngsters' enthusiasm for ICT courses has declined dramatically in the past 10 years.

The Royal Society has now ordered a report into why course attendance has fallen and what can be done to address this.

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