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At BT Group, the apprenticeship team has continued to induct apprentices into the business throughout the pandemic - mainly taking on engineers for Openreach – the digital network business, part of BT Group – and those working in other technology and customer-facing roles. 

Scott Baker, BT Apprenticeships Apprentice Delivery Manager for Scotland, has been working with his team to support new and existing apprentices.  

Scott said: “The way the business values apprenticeships hasn’t changed in light of the pandemic, as BT and Openreach still need to grow their talent now and for the future. 

“Right now, there is a need for engineers to keep the country connected and continue upgrading the network to the next generation of broadband.” 

The training provider has been quick to look at new ways to provide learning support and resources for apprentices. 

Scott explained: “There has been an element of change for both trainers and learners.  
“We’ve had to adapt the way we take on, train and support apprentices through a more virtual environment, using Microsoft Teams and video conferencing.  

“We’ve also been adapting training packages, where we can, to include elements that can be done remotely, including PowerPoint presentations to support lesson plans.” 

“We’ve had to adapt the way we take on, train and support apprentices through a more virtual environment, using Microsoft Teams and video conferencing."

Scott Baker, BT Apprenticeships Apprentice Delivery Manager for Scotland

According to Scott, apprentices have coped well with all the changes they have faced – from different learning methods to the new guidelines on-the-job. Scott said: “Our apprentices have stepped up to the challenge of working throughout the pandemic and are embracing new ways of working. 

“Some will always need more support than others so we continue to look at training that supports the individual.” 

Looking ahead, the organisation will take its experience working through lockdown to develop its training and support in the long term. 

Scott explained: “I think everyone in business, including us, has taken some learnings from working through the pandemic. Even if the restrictions were to lift tomorrow, the experience has left us with new ways of working to build the workforce of the future.” 

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