BT is launching a major apprenticeship and graduate recruitment drive, with York to be the base for some of the new jobs.

The company revealed yesterday it was looking for 50 new apprentices to be based in York, Scarborough, Northallerton, Doncaster, Leeds and Sheffield.

At the same time it is recruiting 20 graduates in Northallerton, Leeds, Hull, Doncaster and Sheffield.

Tom Keeney, chairman of BT’s regional board In Yorkshire and the Humber, said:

“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 region in technologies such as superfast broadband and 4G.”

He added: “This latest major recruitment is a further example of BT’s commitment to Yorkshire and the Humber as one of the region’s leading employers and investors.”

The Yorkshire jobs are part of a nationwide recruitment push for 1,700 new apprentices and graduates, building on nearly 2,500 taken on in the past two years. This year’s recruitment will put employees into customer service, vehicle maintenance and supply chain operations to cyber security.

Apprenticeships and skills Minister, Robert Halfon has welcomed BT’s announcement, particularly as it comes ahead of the 10th National Apprenticeship Week starting on Monday.

He added: “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.”

According to a report by Regeneris Consulting, BT already supports around 14,300 jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber through direct employment, spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees - and gives an annual boost to the region’s economy worth nearly £1.12 billion.

Openreach, BT’s local network business, will launch its own recruitment drive in due course.

The company’s chief executive Gavin Patterson said: “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.”