BT gets message and vows to take on three trainees

Telecoms giant BT has answered the Press and Journal’s Apprentice 100 rallying call – and vowed to offer a trio of traineeships in the north and north-east.

The company is creating the positions in its Openreach division as part of a recruitment drive across the country.

And its pledge means we have now hit the first milestone in our quest to generate 100 apprenticeships in 100 days.

The three BT posts bring the total secured since we launched the campaign just a week ago to 10.

But we still have 90 pledges to collect – and we need the help of firms and organisations across the north and north-east to hit our target on time.

The BT apprentices – the “lifeblood” of the company – will be trained to deliver ultrafast Ethernet services to businesses. One of its Openreach trainees said the communication skills they had learned through the programme were every bit as important as the technical aspects.

Lawrence Mackie has worked for BT for two-and-a-half years as an advanced telecoms apprentice engineer, installing and repairing phone lines and broadband services. Banchory-based Mr Mackie, 19, said: “Soft skills are the most important thing I’ve learned – communicating with customers. If you’ve got a customer whose phone line has been off for four days the last thing you want is to be difficult for each other.”

BT apprentices John Walker and Lawrence Mackie

Mr Mackie added: “Getting on-the-job training while getting paid has been brilliant. And there’s a job at the end of it. BT doesn’t take anyone on unless they’ve got a job at the end of the day for you. I’ve got a job waiting for me, so it gives you peace of mind.”

BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said apprenticeships were vital to the company and provided excellent personal development opportunities for young people. He added: “BT is a major provider of quality jobs in Scotland and apprentices are our lifeblood. They reinvigorate our workforce and bring fresh ideas and energy.

“Some of our most senior engineers started their careers as apprentices and are proof that an apprenticeship can take you almost anywhere, even offering the chance to gain a degree on the job.”

BT apprentices can study for qualifications such as BTECs, Scottish Vocational Qualifications, National Vocational Qualifications, foundation and even Honours degrees.

Apply to become a BT apprentice at

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