Telecoms giant BT to create more than 100 apprentice and graduate roles at Adastral Park

Sun shining on buildings at BT's Adastral Park at Martlesham Heath.
Picture: MICK WEBB/CITIZENSIDE.

Sun shining on buildings at BT's Adastral Park at Martlesham Heath. Picture: MICK WEBB/CITIZENSIDE.COM - Credit: citizenside.com

BT is to create more than 200 new jobs in the East of England for apprentices and graduates, with more than half of the new recruits likely to be based in Suffolk.

BT's Adastral Park campus at Martlesham Heath.
Picture: MIKE PAGE

BT's Adastral Park campus at Martlesham Heath. Picture: MIKE PAGE - Credit: Archant

BT is to create more than 200 new jobs in the East of England for apprentices and graduates, with more than half of the new recruits likely to be based in Suffolk.

The telecoms giant plans to take on around 85 apprentices, with some to be located at its Adastral Park research and development campus at Martlesham Heath, near Ipswich, and others at BT sites in Cambridge, Brentwood and Leavesden, near Watford.

And around 150 graduates roles are also being created, which are mainly expected to be based at Adastral Park with some also to be located in Hatfield.

Adastral Park is at the forefront of developing communications networks and is currently playing a leading role in the development of ultrafast broadband and 5G communications.

Dr Tim Whitley of BT at Adastral Park

Dr Tim Whitley of BT at Adastral Park - Credit: Archant

The new apprenticeship and graduate opportunities include a number of roles within mobile operator EE which was acquired by BT in January last year. Openreach, BT’s local network business, is to launch a recruitment drive of its own separately.

Tim Whitley, chairman of BT’s East of England regional board, said: “This latest major recruitment is a further example of BT’s commitment to the East of England as one of the region’s leading employers and investors.

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“We are offering exciting, high quality careers in a fast moving industry in order to ensure the households and businesses of this region are able to benefit from the latest, first class communications.

“The new recruits will be joining a world-leading company, which has already invested hundreds of millions of pounds in the East of England in technologies such as superfast broadband and 4G.”

Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT.
Photo: BT

Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT. Photo: BT - Credit: Archant

The new jobs in the East of England are part of a total of around 1,700 apprentice and graduate roles being created by BT across the country as a whole, and the announcement was welcomed Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon.

He said: “It is always good to talk about apprenticeships and the ladder of opportunity they give people to secure the career they want.

“By committing to injecting 1,700 new graduate and apprentice jobs into the UK, BT is offering a real chance to be trained by some of the best in their field.”

Besides offering training opportunities – which has seen the group take on nearly 2,500 people in the past two years – BT says it is also committeed to building a wider “culture of tech literacy” within the UK.

The group also funds and runs Barefoot Computing, a project that helps primary school teachers get confident with teaching computer science.

It says that around 1m children, including nearly 115,000 in the East of England, have already been reached via the programme, which sees primary school teachers provided with resources and training, and BT plans to reach 5m UK children by 2020.

Gavin Patterson, BT chief executive, said: “Young people today need three basic skills – reading, writing, and tech know-how.

“BT is investing in the next generation, helping to train primary school teachers to teach computer science and recruiting large numbers of apprentices and graduates. This is the right thing for us to do if the UK is to remain a digital leader.”

He added: “It is an exciting time to join BT as it continues to invest in ultrafast broadband, 4G, television and sport. We are also preparing for future technologies, including 5G, and so we want to recruit the very best. Our apprenticeship and graduate roles will offer people the hands on experience they need to succeed.”

BT is one of the UK’s largest employers with 81,000 UK-based people. According to a recent report by Regeneris Consulting, the company supports nearly 26,700 jobs in the East of England – through direct employment, spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees – and gives an annual boost to the region’s economy worth £2.3bn.