Telecoms giant BT is to create 1,000 new apprenticeships and graduate jobs this year, including engineering, IT and digital technology.
In order to tackle youth unemployment, BT is also providing up to 1,000 vocational training and work experience placements for youngsters who do not have a job.
New recruits could begin degree apprenticeships from September, allowing them to complete full honours degrees while working.
Many of the apprentice and graduate intake will be based at BT's research site near Ipswich, although placements are spread across the UK in cities including London, Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff, Newcastle, Manchester and Leeds.
“The UK's future as a technology leader hinges on young people getting the skills, support and training they need to create successful careers in science, engineering and IT,” Gavin Patterson, BT’s chief executive, said.
“I'm thrilled that BT will be offering so many opportunities for apprentices, graduates and trainees this year, and that they will start their careers at such an exciting time in the company's history.
“These new recruits will have the opportunity to work in fields such as technology research, engineering, IT and TV, helping to create and build the next generation of communications technologies for the UK.”
Encouraging non-academic routes into engineering such as apprenticeships can be valuable for the sector, but parents, teachers and students alike need to understand more about the apprenticeship framework as a whole, a recent survey showed.
Less than one in five parents had been spoken to about apprenticeships by their child's school, while only one in three believed an apprenticeship would be best for their son or daughter, with over half saying university would be a better option.
“Apprenticeships are a fast-track route in to the workplace, and can take you almost anywhere, even offering the chance to gain a degree on the job,” Vince Cable, business secretary, said.