BT is to create 130 new apprenticeship and graduate jobs across Northern Ireland as part of a new UK-wide drive to recruit the best tech talent available.
The firm aims to employ more than 1,300 people across the UK in a number of different roles - from TV production, engineering, customer service and cyber-security to help tackle the growing threat of cyber-crime.
In Northern Ireland, the 130 new recruits will be located in Belfast, Londonderry, Coleraine, Dungannon, Enniskillen and Newry. The new roles include tech design, tech operations,software, IT, sales, finance,customer experience and engineering.
BT is one of the first UK companies to use virtual reality technology as a way of recruiting, as it looks at innovative techniques in how it attracts the best graduates.
The process will involve candidates being asked to complete a series of virtual reality “Crystal Maze” style tasks.
Candidates will be assessed based on three measures which comprise analytical skills, how they handle change, as well as their drive and enthusiasm to get tasks completed.
The latest recruitment drive includes the firm’s engineering division, NI Networks, which will be taking on 30 apprentices over the next 12 months.
BT Group is one of the UK’s largest employers with 82,800 people based in the UK – including over 2,700 regular staff in Northern Ireland*.
“We’re proud to be leading the industry by investing in training a huge number of people in the digital skills that the UK economy so vitally needs,” said chief executive Gavin Patterson.
“BT has a rich history of innovation, and it’s an incredibly exciting time to be joining the company as we look towards growing our cyber-security business, developing 5G technologies and enhanced TV content.”
Many of the apprentices will also achieve foundation and full degrees as part of their work at BT, while some graduates will also achieve fully funded qualifications.
The scheme is delivered in partnership with local colleges and universities to ensure that apprentices and graduates receive the best education for their area of focus, as well as the hands-on experience and training.