BT to offer work placements for 3 000 youngsters
Telecoms giant BT announced thousands of work placements for young people today and launched a "major" programme to boost the skills of more than 7,000 of its workers.
The firm said it will offer work placements to 3,000 youngsters to give them an insight into the world of work.
BT also unveiled plans for more than 7,200 of its contact centre employees to undertake accredited learning and receive an apprenticeship certificate.
The training programme is in addition to BT's apprenticeship scheme which sees hundreds of young people recruited every year and will see the firm become one of the top five private sector providers of apprenticeships.
Sir Michael Rake, BT chairman, said: "We are very keen that young people have the chance to spend time with BT before they embark on their careers.
"Work placements can help young people decide where their future lies and so this improved scheme has our full support. We are also keen that our employees receive training and so can gain apprenticeship qualifications. We do this because it is good for our business, it is good for our employees and it is good for young people."
BT made the announcement to support a Government drive to help young people find work.
Ministers announced that every young person who has been unemployed for at least six months will be guaranteed an offer of a job, training or work experience from today.
The Government said the move will offer up to 470,000 opportunities over the next 15 months, benefiting almost 100,000 youngsters straight away.
Ministers said the extra investment had already been critical to keeping unemployment 450,000 lower than anticipated in last April's Budget.
BT said it was working with Business in the Community, the CBI and the Government to build up the quantity and quality of work placements offered to young people.
Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: "One of the best ways to help any young person to improve their life and prospects is to offer them a positive experience of work.
"Business in the Community is delighted to working with BT, who are giving young people the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to make their first steps in the world of work."