BT & Amazon | 5 firms still taking on apprentices this year

5 firms still taking on apprentices this year

This week marks the return of the annual National Apprenticeship Week, an event that looks to “shine a light on the amazing work being done by employers and apprentices across the country,” according to the Government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency.

According to statistics published by the Learning and Work Institute, the coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the volume of apprenticeships taking place within the UK.

The data found that between the period in which lockdown was introduced in March of 2020 and July of the same year, over 47,770 fewer apprenticeships have taken place – a 47% drop year-on-year.

From our magazine

The move has had a particular impact on younger apprenticeship candidates; starts among those aged 16-18-years-old plummeted from 16,390 between March and July last year, to just 5,230 this year, a decline of 68%.

However, whilst 2020 was a damaging year for apprenticeships, a recent Guardian report noted that a raft of major employers intend to continue offering opportunities in 2021, potentially going some way to rectifying this downturn.

HR Grapevine has collated a list of five below.

BT Group

Earlier this week, the BT Group announced that it planned to recruit 229 apprentices for its September 2021 intake. These positions will be placed in areas across the business such as customers service and cybersecurity, offering a range of opportunities for those looking to take part in a scheme.


E-commerce giant Amazon announced this week that it will take on over 1,000 apprentices this year in areas ranging from IT, broadcast production, software engineering and creative digital design. According to South Wales Argus, programmes will last between 14 months and four years, with graduates then able to take positions in hundreds of locations across the company's UK business.

Thames Water

The UK’s largest water supplier, Thames Water, also announced a drive to recruit more than 1,000 in 2021, with a target of tripling the number of apprentices it takes on by the end of 2025 – an initiative that will have a large impact this year.

BAE Systems

The arms, security and aerospace company is drastically upping the volume of apprenticeships it takes on in 2021, with over 850 planned and 400 graduate roles to be introduced. These will take place across the business in areas such as software development and joinery.

Jaguar Land Rover

Iconic vehicle manufacturing giant Jaguar Land Rover will initiate a major drive in September of 2021 to recruit 300 new apprentices, undergraduates and graduates to join the business.

The benefits of apprenticeships

Euan Blair, Founder & CEO, Multiverse, told HR Grapevine that apprenticeships can provide highly effective learning in areas or sectors where skills needs are the highest.

He explained: “Every organisation is grappling with the pace of digital transformation right now, and apprenticeships, both for new talent and reskilling existing talent, are an excellent way of meeting this challenge head on.

“Apprenticeships are a core enabler for greater social mobility. In fact, I'm not sure there's a better way for businesses to reach a wider audience of people when they're hiring and in tandem to set up people from the broadest possible range of backgrounds for success,” he concluded.

Be the first to comment.

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for the next 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.