Apprenticeships unleashing potential at BT
One of the world’s leading telecommunications businesses with a significant presence in Wales has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
BT is one of 28 finalists in nine categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation Wales (NTfW).
The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality Apprenticeships across Wales. Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes in Wales are funded by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund.
The winners will be announced at a high profile awards presentation ceremony at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday, October 24, where the winners of the National Training Awards for Wales will also be recognised. The joint awards which will be attended by around 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales.
Sponsor of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which aim to showcase excellence in skills development in Wales, is Pearson and media partner is Media Wales.
Currently employing 136 apprentices in Wales and having taken on 699 in the past five years, BT’s track record in Apprenticeships cannot be understated.
BT, shortlisted in the Large Employer of the Year category, places Apprenticeships at the core of its recruitment and training framework.
“The Apprenticeship programme is key to BT’s strategic intent of unleashing people’s potential and of creating a more professionally qualified workforce,” said Damian Brown, Head of Accredited Learning at BT.
“Apprentices offer the opportunity to bridge the skills gap that we face as changing technologies impact on our traditional ideas about delivering customer requirements. They enable us to grow the skills we’ll need to maintain and improve levels of service in the future.”
BT provides a range of Apprenticeship frameworks, not only in telecommunications but also in business administration, customer service, management and other areas. The frameworks are delivered by Acorn Group.
“We have improved learning retention and first time pass rates for literacy, numeracy and BTEC. Our overall timely success rates have all been over 90 per cent,” added Mr Brown.
Additionally, BT believes its apprentices, as with all it staff, play an important part within the community. Apprentices throughout the UK and Wales delivered 1,565 volunteer days in the past year as well as taking part in initiatives, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Territorial Army events, giving them a wider “educational” opportunity.
Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “These awards recognise excellence by individuals, employers and learning providers in delivering training. I am delighted with the standard of this year’s finalists and the variety across all ages and sectors, which shows the strength of the skills being delivered in Wales.
“All the finalists have an inspiring story to tell and are great ambassadors for apprenticeship and other programmes in Wales.
“The skills acquired through programmes, such as Apprenticeships, provide great benefits to individuals and employers, helping make Welsh businesses more competitive.
“The Welsh Government is committed to creating more apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Wales and continuing to support employers who are willing to offer high quality apprenticeship places.”
The National Training Federation for Wales is a network 116 quality assured work based training providers with links to 35,000 employers across Wales.