UK: BT apprentice scheme attracts record response

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24 000 applications for 221 apprenticeships. As a result of this unprecedented interest in its programme this year, BT is considering whether or not to increase the number of places on offer, particularly in light of its need for engineers to help roll out faster broadband across the UK.

At the same time, the National Apprenticeship Service saw online applications almost double between April and July, from 22 550 to 41 940. With unemployment in the 18-24 year old age group currently running at 17.5%, the Ucas university admissions service also reported a rise of 11.7% in the number of applications, when compared to 2009.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has also said it will fund 8000 places for full-time EU and UK students as well as creating an additional 50 000 apprenticeships.