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BT mulls upping apprentice numbers

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BT is considering increasing the number of apprentices it employs after receiving over 100 applications for each place.

The telco offers 221 places for trainees but this year had 24,000 applications.

Apprenticeships are not just for engineers - there are three categories: customer service, information technology and telecommunications. Provided you hit targets BT guarantees you a job at the end of the 24 to 30 months.

You need basic GCSEs to qualify or at least two A levels for higher level apprenticeships.

The company did not respond to our requests for comment but Alex Wilson, BT's human resources director, told the Guardian "BT has had unprecedented interest in its apprenticeship scheme. Given this interest, and BT's plans to spend £2.5bn on rolling out fibre broadband, the company is now considering whether to expand the scheme. We'll need engineers to help us deliver superfast broadband and so we hope to tap into the interest that is being shown by young people across the UK."

BT might not be the job for life it once was - it cut £1bn in costs and jobs in 2009, but is still attracting applicants.

Another factor might be increasing difficulty in getting onto other courses - university applications are up 11 per cent this year with no corresponding increase in places.

BT said apprentices were paid between £11,000 and £14,000, and studied either a BTEC or a Foundation Degree along with the relevant NVQ and Key Skills. Last year the telco received 9,000 applications and the year before 10, 000.®

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