More than 50 new apprenticeships and graduate jobs will be created in the North East as part of a major nationwide recruitment drive by BT.
The company is casting its net across the UK for around 300 top science, technology and business graduates who want to build their careers in the IT and telecom sector.
Some 730 apprenticeships will also be offered to UK school and college leavers in engineering, software design, IT support, finance and logistics.
BT has likewise created a new digital media technology apprenticeship and pledged its commitment to the employer-led initiative Movement to Work, aimed at tackling youth unemployment, through creating up to 1,500 vocational training and work experience placements for out-of-work youngsters over the next 18 months.
In the North East, the new recruits will likely be based across Newcastle, Sunderland and Northumberland.
Farooq Hakim, BT’s North East regional director, said: “This latest recruitment is great news for our region.
“It is another example of BT’s commitment as one of the region’s largest private sector employers and investors. Providing the opportunity for people to build lasting and rewarding careers – as well as our major multi-million pound investments in sophisticated technology, such as fibre optic broadband – will play a vital role in the future success of the North East.”
Technology graduates and technical apprentices taken on by BT will be able to work on a range of cutting-edge projects in broadcasting and wireless technology, while helping to pioneer new developments in high-speed fibre communication networks.
BT chief executive Gavin Patterson said BT had an “exciting future” ahead of it, and wanted thousands of young people throughout Britain to share in that.
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, said: “It’s good news that BT are delivering even more high quality apprenticeships and graduate jobs.
“Hundreds more people will now be able to get the skills they need to get on and help support sustainable economic growth.
“Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week I would encourage all employers to follow the lead of firms like BT and recognise the value and dynamism apprentices can offer businesses of all sizes.”