BT helps young people get work ready with traineeship programme

Julie James, the Welsh Government’s deputy minister for skills, has visited BT’s Stadium House offices in Cardiff to meet youngsters participating on its traineeship programme.

The course, which lasts for seven weeks, gives young people aged between 16-17 the opportunity to develop key employment skills – from time-keeping and work ethic to specialist classes in CV writing, interview techniques, team working and presentation skills.

What’s promising is the fact that around 60 per cent of young people move into employment, education or further training after completing this course. It forms part of the Movement to Work Scheme, which has been set up by a number of UK employers to tackle youth unemployment.

As well as this course, on average, the telco provides work placements for up to 1000 young people across the UK each year. 100 of these are based in Wales.

Julie James, the deputy minister for skills, said: “The Welsh Government is absolutely committed to providing young people with opportunities to gain valuable experience of the demands of the workplace.

“It is highly encouraging that high profile employers like BT share our commitment to our young people, particularly those who are not in education, employment or training. Through programmes like the BTWork Ready campaign, together we are ensuring our young people are equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience to make a positive difference in the workplace of the future.”

Speaking before the event, Alwen Williams, director for BT Cymru Wales, said: “I know from personal experience that there are a number of career paths open to young people and I feel strongly that BT should be doing all it can to help our young people – no matter which route they choose.

“Young people not in education, employment or training are more than twice as likely to feel unable to cope as their peers.

“This programme provides those that fall into this category with the opportunity of gaining valuable skills and experience from a global company. They get to spend time in our operations, learn about the job, take advantage of careers advice and gain qualifications while on the programme.”

The young people on these courses and placements have their current levels of literacy and numeracy checked and are set a learning plan that so they can develop their skills.

Joe Emberton, who recently secured a BT advanced apprenticeship after completing the BT traineeship, said: “The BT Work Ready programme has been a massive help to my life.”

“Before, I was very shy and had zero confidence in myself, but the interview, presentation, and communication skills I gained during the course really helped turn that around. After completing the course I managed to successfully gain an apprenticeship with BT, which was an amazing validation of how far I’d come – I wouldn’t have had a chance at that had I not attended.

“I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who is struggling to get a job – not only does it help you find work, but it can really improve you as a person.”

Young people who would like to take advantage of the BT traineeship programme can email bttraineeships@bt.com today.

Image credit: Alex France