Through a pioneering partnership between BT and Skills Training UK, young trainees are gaining an insight into new technology, the media and communications networks during two-week work placements.
The work placements were originally piloted in 2014 at BT Tower and during 2015 and 2016 they have been introduced at two further BT centres in London. BT Apprentices and former Apprentices who have progressed with the company are leading the work placements, as part of Skills Training UK’s Traineeships programme.
During the work placements, the young people, aged 16 to 24, each have a BT ‘host’ employee to shadow and experience various technical, digital and IT, engineering and customer service roles.
As well as learning about different job roles, there is a focus on improving individual employability skills. The timetable includes mock interviews, conducting presentations, practical thinking and business problem solving, with practical exercises.
Each young person keeps a log and discusses learning points each day with their BT hosts. They are gaining the practical skills and confidence to succeed in the world of work.
Skills Training UK’s bespoke approach in providing Traineeships is about creating partnerships with companies like BT, providing opportunities which are opening the eyes of young people to the careers in sectors such as IT, communications and digital media.
We recognise that it’s tough at the moment for young people to find jobs, which is why we are delighted to be partnering with Skills Training UK to help their trainees gain the valuable experience they need to progress to employment.
Chris Travis, Traineeships and Work Placements Partnership Manager, BT
Before their BT work placement, the young people complete a 10-week programme of classroom-based learning at Skills Training UK’s Wembley training centre to gain essential skills for full-time employment. The work preparation includes CV writing, interview techniques and careers help, as well as English, Maths and ICT coaching.
At the end of the work placement each young person is given an interview, testimonial from BT and a reference to add to their CV. Skills Training UK then works with each young person to progress them into an Apprenticeship, full-time job or into further education or training.
My work placement at BT was a great experience – refreshing and really useful. It was exciting to see inside the BT Tower, and I got to see the place where all the huge cables come from - it was amazing! It made me think about what it would be like to work there at the Tower every day. I shadowed important people in different roles and I now have an idea of how things work behind the scenes at a major business. I would love to get back to BT on a job or an apprenticeship.
James Livingstone, aged 21