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Youngsters celebrate graduation event at BT Sport's studio in Hackney
Government representatives see how young people who are disadvantaged get ready for the workplace.

Youngsters celebrate graduation event at BT Sport's studio in Hackney

Officials from the Department for Education and Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport were guests at a graduation ceremony, celebrating the achievements of the latest group of 13 ‘Work Ready’ trainees, who had completed the six-week programme with BT Sport. The graduation event was held at BT Sport’s studio, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in Hackney. BT showed how the programme helps 16 to 24 year-olds, not in education or employment, gain the digital skills to get into work. BT also highlighted how it is enhancing tech literacy in the UK with a programme intended to boost the skills of five million young people by 2020.

The trainees completed several work experience placements at BT Sport, including sessions with Max Bentley, the digital producer at BT Sport. Max Bentley, said: “They showed tremendous application and desire to learn. They assisted our social media and digital teams preparing for the new football and rugby seasons. They helped produce engaging videos for BT Sport’s social platforms and created editorial content for the website.”

Carole Williams, Hackney Council cabinet member for employment and skills, presented them with graduation certificates. She said: “It was inspiring to learn how this programme is helping young people prepare for life in the workplace. I can’t wait to see what they go on to do next.”

Liz Williams, BT’s Director for tech literacy and education programmes, said: “Tech skills are vital for the world we live in today and the BT Sport studio is an exciting and unexpected workplace to show young people where these skills could take them. It’s great we have had so many trainees graduating, thanks to the support of the BT Sport team.”

BT’s Work Ready programme gives disadvantaged young people a hands-on experience of what it takes to thrive in jobs powered by technology. Since the programme was launched in 2014, more than 2,000 young people have started a Work Ready placement in more than 60 locations, with around 57 per cent going on to training, education or employment. BT are committed to collaborating with other major employers as a founding partner of Movement to Work, a coalition of UK businesses working together to tackle youth employment.

Through our partnership with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation we’re reaching even greater numbers of young people from disadvantaged inner city areas, including London, Manchester, Doncaster and Belfast. As well as providing young people with digital skills, our traineeships equip them with CV writing skills and interview techniques, and help build their confidence through work experience and job shadowing.

To find out more about our Work Ready programme.