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Free BT work placements for young people in the East of England

MP meets our Work Ready students
MP meets our Work Ready students

BT has helped eight unemployed young people from Norfolk get ready for work through its work placement. Aimed at unemployed 16-24 year olds the programme gives young people the skills to get experience of life in a BT workplace. It’s part of our commitment as a founding partner in the Movement to Work coalition of employers.

The courses, supported by BT volunteers, focus on building and developing practical skills, giving hands-on work experience and teaching invaluable interview techniques. Norwich South MP Clive Lewis presented the youngsters with certificates at the end of their three-week course. Clive said: “They’re young people who want to work and want to go into engineering, but haven’t had the confidence to do so for a variety of reasons. In many cases, they’ve got the ability to do the job, but not to get through the interview process.”

The three week course, combining hands-on work experience with coaching and training, is open to anyone aged 16 to 24 not currently in education, employment or training. The work placement offers the opportunity for people to build confidence and learn practical work skills such as CV writing and interview techniques. Attendees are given a certificate showing their attendance and achievements to demonstrate their commitment to prospective employers.

The first week of the course is mainly office based and focuses on building and developing practical work skills such as time management, customer service and computing skills. This is followed by a week ‘on the job’, shadowing employees and getting hands on experience of the working day. The final days of the work placement are spent doing mock interviews, creating a stand-out CV and developing an individual plan of the next steps to find employment or return to education.

Tim Whitley, Chair of BT’s East of England regional board, said: “BT work placements give local, young people the opportunity to experience the working day and gain invaluable insight of what is expected in the workplace. There will be more opportunities to join a work placement in various East of England locations in the future, so I’d encourage young people to register their interest to make sure they don’t miss out.”

BT work placements are part of the BT Work Ready programme which is a series of initiatives provided to help young people, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, gain employment skills and get them ready for work. It’s part of BT’s commitment as a founding partner in the Movement to Work coalition of employers. BT has been running Work Ready since 2014 and to date more than 3,500 young people from around the UK have participated in the programme. More than half have gone on to either gain employment or return to education.

Further information on BT’s Work Ready programme – www.bt.com/workready