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BT Business Case for Apprenticeships


BT is a UK wide communications solutions provider with 20 million customers. The company trains around 600 apprentices every year in telecommunications engineering, motor vehicle maintenance, customer contact centres, information technology and business administration.

BT's business benefits of apprenticeships include:

BT have calculated a net financial benefit when taking into account the total labour cost of apprentices in comparison to adult (non-apprentices) employees, along with increases in productivity, quality and higher levels of morale. They are usually more commercially aware and naturally follow the correct procedures for generating more revenue. BT has calculated an annual net profit of over £1,300 per apprentice when compared to adult (non-apprentice) recruitment.

Increased productivity
Productivity improves due to apprentices being developed correctly, i.e. correct training, correct coaching, expectations being set out and reinforced regularly. Recent figures show a higher rate of productivity (7.5%) than non-apprentices.

Reduced costs
Costs are reduced due to improved productivity and government funding. Apprentices also start their career with BT on 50% of maximum salary. This rises to 80% as they complete their apprenticeship. The lower wages are accepted by young people as an investment in the future considering the high quality training results in a nationally recognised qualification at the end of the programme.

Higher quality of work
As apprentices are given the correct tools to do the job from the start and are coached throughout their apprenticeship the quality of work is better than that of the adult (non-apprentice) engineer. Recent figures show a 1.5% increase in the quality of work compared to non-apprentice engineers.

Increased employee satisfaction
Within BT engineering, the apprenticeship teams show the highest level of satisfaction, currently running at 85%, and this is significantly higher than other teams.

Better staff development
The BT programme includes development that will enable the apprentice to work on higher level duties and, in some instances, will allow them to experience junior management responsibilities. They also gain life skills through local projects, foreign exchange visits, community projects etc.

Potential for career progression
BT has a strong tradition of training apprentices who progress through the organisation; four out of 12 members of the BT Engineering senior management team were originally apprentices.

General benefits
Apprenticeships benefit BT by bringing in a young, diverse and enthusiastic workforce. New people re-invigorate the existing workforce and can provide the senior managers of the future. It can also be considered to be of benefit in terms of being part of the community, not just in terms of diversity but also in terms of its corporate social responsibility to support youth employment. This in turn helps improve the company’s image with its customers.


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