Luke, Thomas, Lewis, Laura, Cameron and Mr O’Hare were invited to the BT Tower in Lanyon place on 4th Feb 2020. On the 10th floor, we, and 3 other schools, had an information event day where the students found out about apprenticeships BT have on offer.
This year, they are offering 6 Networking and 4 Software degree apprenticeships in Belfast. Applications can be made online, and the team encouraged the students to do so as early as possible, because when selection happens no further applications can be accepted.
Ideally BT are looking for an A ‘Level profile of BBC with 4 A-C GCSE including English and Maths. The process works like this: Online applications - Online Testing - Video Interview - Centre based testing.
Most software jobs in BT will start on a salary of approx. £30,000.
So, if you are an apprentice how would you compare with a graduate? Graduates would still have to go through a similar interview process and even if successful in the end, like in most software companies, graduates would need retrained to skills the company needs, you would not. This costs the company further investment. The graduate would not have industrial experience, little experience of working in a team and probably little or no experience in decision making. Overall, you would have 4 years of support and mentoring and experience in all of this. Apprenticeships really are win-win scenarios.
We met with a BT team of about 12, which included both past and present apprentices. They told us about their journeys and how they felt more supported, and had been presented with many more, great opportunities than their university peers. They also spoke positively about the salary!
We enquired, if we wanted to see the world, how easy is it to transfer to other offices. BT is a worldwide company, and is much bigger than most of us can imagine. It pioneered 5G, it owns EE, not to mention that it is the backbone of broadband and the emergency services, not just in the UK. Moving to other offices on internal crawls is easy we were told and you can do it short term for a year or two or longer if you wish.
Our students came away with an abundance of information and much to consider.