Business

BT to hire 100 apprentices and graduates in Northern Ireland

Mairead Meyer from BT in Northern Ireland with local networks apprentices Jonny Hunter and Matthew Morrow and recent apprentice Scott Gilmore (centre). Picture: William Cherry/Press Eye

MORE than 100 apprentice and graduate jobs, mostly engineering-based, are being created across Northern Ireland by telecoms giant BT.

The recruitment push is part of a UK-wide drive by the company to equip young people with the skills and training needed to meet the challenges of a changing jobs market.

As well as engineers, some of the roles will be in customer service, software development, fleet management and supply chain management, and the new jobs will be spread across BT's three Northern Ireland locations in Belfast, Derry and Enniskillen.

Mairead Meyer, managing director of networks at BT in Northern Ireland, said: “It is an exciting time to join BT as it continues to invest in ultra-fast broadband and the roll out of super-fast fibre broadband.

"We are also preparing for future technologies, including 5G, and so we want to recruit the very best. Our apprenticeship roles will offer people the hands on experience they need to succeed."

She added: “Young people today need three key skills – literacy, numeracy and tech know-how. BT is investing in the next generation, helping to train primary school teachers to teach computer science and recruiting large numbers of apprentices. This is the right thing for us to do if Northern Ireland is to remain a digital leader.”

Scott Gilmore, a recent BT networks apprentice, said: “Joining BT was the best decision I ever made. Throughout my life, I have always been interested in doing a hands on and practical job and was lucky enough to be chosen as an apprentice.

“After a challenging and intensive training course, I began work on the programme. It’s such an interesting job and I have been privileged to learn from the best and to work on some of the most complex broadband jobs across the BT network.

“The company provided me with all the support I needed every step of the way and I'm delighted to be working as a fully qualified fibre optic engineer. I’d encourage everyone to think about applying for this apprenticeship programme.”

BT says it is committed to building a culture of tech literacy within the UK so that the country remains a digital leader. It aims to recruit 1,700 apprentices and graduates across the UK, which builds on the intake of nearly 2,500 in the past two years.

Last year an independent report revealed that BT, as one of Northern Ireland’s largest employers, supports around 5,440 jobs through direct employment, spending with contractors and suppliers, and employee spending, which equates to a £470 million boost for the region's economy.

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