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Chief Executive: 'BT has an exciting future ahead of it'

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.

– Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive of BT

BT to create 50 new apprentice and graduate jobs in Wales

BT plans to create more than 1,000 posts across the UK Credit: PA

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.

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Improve image of apprenticeships, say Lib Dems

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.

– Eluned Parrott AM, Welsh Liberal Democrats

Lib Dem plans for more apprentices

Welsh Liberal Democrat Apprenticeship report cover

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.

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What do I do if I'm interested in an apprenticeship?

Plans to spend £40m on apprenticeships in Wales over the next two years have been set out today.

The Welsh Government says apprenticeships are a great way to get real qualifications and improve skills, while earning a wage.

They are open to everyone, "whether you're a young learner, or want to change your career pathway."

The first priority for anyone interested in doing an apprenticeship might be making the most of Apprenticeship Week, which is going on at the moment.

This year's Apprenticeship week aims to showcase the benefits placements offer to employers and apprentices. Credit: Welsh Government

There are open, taster and advice sessions, as well as a number of events targeted at encouraging employers to realise the benefits of apprentices, through until Friday.

All year round, Careers Wales has advice on apprenticeships and allows you to apply for them.

Visit the Careers Wales website

Call: 0800 100 900

Minister: Scheme supports hardest-hit group

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.

5,650 new apprenticeship places to be created

The Welsh Government has set out how it plans to spend £40m on apprenticeships over the next two years.

Its plans include:

  • Creating 5,650 new apprenticeship places
  • An enhanced wage subsidy of £3,900 over 52 weeks for employers taking on young apprentices aged 16-24 through the Young Recruits Programme
  • A one-off payment of £500 for small and micro businesses to cover the time and costs they said were a barrier to recruiting apprentices
  • £3.4m to support people who wish to do apprenticeships in the Welsh language

It follows a report last October which found that not enough businesses here are exploiting the full potential of apprentices.

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