BT have announced plans today to create 50 new apprenticeship and graduate jobs in Wales.
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 workforce isn't impaired by long term unemployment.
BT has an exciting future ahead of it, investing in the UK's high speed broadband infrastructure, and advances in television and digital media. Through new apprenticeships, graduate training and the Movement to Work programme, we want thousands of young people in Britain to share this future.
BT is expecting to create around 50 new apprenticeship and graduate jobs in Wales, as part of a major nationwide recruitment drive.
The company says it's casting its net across the UK for 300 top science, technology and business graduates who want to build their careers in the IT and Telecom sector.
Around 730 apprenticeships will also be offered to UK school and college leavers in the areas of engineering, software design, IT support, finance and logistics.
The company has also launched a new digital media technology apprenticeship that will provide new recruits with experience and skills in web development, digital networks, digital TV and digital media distribution.
BT's Chief Executive Gavin Patterson has described it as an exciting time.
Welsh Liberal Democrats are setting out ways to encourage more young people to take up apprenticeships. Business spokesperson Eluned Parrott says it should be considered in the same way as applying to attend university.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are setting out a series of ideas which they say would encourage more young people to consider taking up apprenticeships.
A schools liaison programme to boost the image of apprenticeships
Apprentice Ambassador scheme
Competitions to celebrate skills
University-style application process including clearing
A single information, application and support system
Business spokesperson Eluned Parrott said:
Unless these practical issues are addressed, apprenticeships will continue to be viewed as a secondary (or even tertiary) route for young people at post-16 level, with university and entering the workplace without formal training taking precedence.
We want young people to know they have a range of positive options on leaving school that will open up rewarding careers – be that through university or skills-based learning. The Welsh Liberal Democrats want to build a stronger economy in a fairer society.
Welsh Liberal Democrats are to set out a series of steps aimed at encouraging more young people to take up apprenticeships. They're say the numbers on apprenticeship placements fell by a third between 2006 and 2011 and accuse the Welsh Government of failing to do enough to reverse the fall.
Responding to the statement from the Welsh Government on apprenticeships in Wales, Nick Ramsay AM, Shadow Minister for Business said that although it offered valuable experience he feared the scheme wouldn't lead to full time permanent jobs.
Apprenticeships play an integral role in our economy. They increase the skill set of the workforce and make Wales a more attractive place with which to do business.
The skills developed by an apprentice are skills for life. This makes an apprenticeship programme as valued as a place at a top university, and I want people to be aware of this.
The programme continues to support young people, the group that has been worst hit by the recession. Apprenticeship programmes keep them engaged in education, employment and training and make sure we are maximising their opportunities for employment.
– Jeff Cuthbert, Deputy Minister for Skills
In November, the Welsh Government agreed an additional £20m for apprenticeships for 2013-14 and £20m for 2014-15.