BT to hire 400 apprentices in 5G, cyber security drive

The new recruits will support the telecom giant's plans to build and extend the UK's 5G capabilities

BT has announced plans to recruit over 400 apprentices and graduates as part of its 5G network rollout across the UK.

The new recruits are expected to start in September 2021 and will support the telecom’s scheme to build and extend the UK’s 5G coverage, as well as gain experience in a number of areas, from engineering and customer service to applied research and cyber security.

The roles will be based in locations including Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Ipswich, London, and Manchester.

BT’s announcement comes after a difficult year which saw a number of telecommunications companies cancel their grad schemes, often at the last minute, leaving recent graduates with nowhere to go.

Commenting on the news, education secretary Gavin Williamson said that he hopes that “more employers will follow BT’s lead so more people can get on the path to a great job”.

"It is brilliant that BT are continuing to champion apprenticeships and offering more than 400 people the opportunity to start a great career in the digital industry.

“Apprenticeships form a key part of our new Skills for Jobs White Paper which will transform post-16 education and training, helping to deliver the skills individuals, businesses and the economy need to thrive after coronavirus,” he added.

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Along with the 400 new apprentice and graduate roles, BT also announced that it is investing in several initiatives as part of its Skills for Tomorrow project which aims to help 10 million people in the UK develop new digital skills.

These include BT’s Work Ready training scheme which provides opportunities for young people who aren't in employment, education or training.

Moreover, BT’s Openreach division recently announced plans to create 2,500 full-time jobs in its service and network-build divisions, as well as an estimated 2,800 positions in its UK supply chain.

BT Group HR director Alison Wilcox said that the company “look forward to welcoming the 2021 newcomers”.

“BT is at the heart of the UK’s digital economy and as a leading employer of apprentices and graduates we offer unparalleled development opportunities. Despite the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve continued to recruit and attract brilliant people from all walks of life into our business, and we value the diverse perspectives they bring,” she added.

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