BT connecting apprentices to the world of communications

Posted on by karen.smith

David Humphreys, apprentice manager with BT, with apprentices Stacey Thomas, Michael White, Luke Arnold.

David Humphreys, apprentice manager with BT, with apprentices Stacey Thomas, Michael White, Luke Arnold.

As one of the world’s leading communications companies BT must ensure its employees are trained to the highest standards to deliver the services its customers expect.

The company has been engaged with apprenticeships for more than 50 years and currently employs 91 apprentices in Wales, with plans to recruit 71 more this year.

This investment in training and developing staff has been recognised by BT being shortlisted for the Large and Macro Employer of the Year award at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which take place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals, employers and learning providers who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes. The Awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

“We’re passionate about attracting new talent and giving people opportunities to work and learn and to forge a career in BT, which ensures continued growth of the company,” said Bob Soper-Dyer, head of BT’s Apprenticeship Programme.

“The reputational benefit that BT Cymru Wales receives from running an excellent apprenticeship programme is huge. The programme helps us to capture the best talent, skills and leadership capabilities for the future.”

According to BT, apprentices are five per cent more engaged than the rest of the company’s workforce. The company also has a 96 per cent retention rate over five years.

Working with training provider Acorn, each apprentice has a structured development path and receives on the job training alongside their academic journey with NVQ/study days, progress reviews, development discussions and skills support

Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of roles, from business administration, ICT and engineering and next year BT is introducing cyber security.

“BT has operated apprenticeships for so long it is inherent in our culture and embedded into our talent acquisition strategy, making them integral to workforce planning which forecasts three years ahead. We predict year on year growth on this current forecast,” added Bob.

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated BT and the other 32 shortlisted award finalists. “We are proud to be delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe with success rates in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent,” she said.

“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices.”

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