BT Ireland’s Early Career Programme


As part of our Elevate Pledge Inaugural report launch, we delve deeper into some of the successful diversity and inclusion initiatives highlighted in the report. In this piece, learn about BT Ireland’s Early Career Programme.

What was your diversity & inclusion goal?

AT BT Ireland, one of our highest priorities is being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation, and our aim is to foster a sense of belonging among employees and to support everyone to reach their potential with us. We believe in fairness, equality and respect for human rights, but of course, it’s what we do and how we act, not just what we believe, that really matters.

Can you describe your diversity & inclusion initiative?

When we looked at the diversity profile of our workforce, we found an under-representation of colleagues under 40, which meant that we would have many people retiring together into the future. We wanted to address this matter from a D&I perspective but also to de-risk our business into the future in terms of workforce planning. Recognising the challenges this could pose to our progression pipeline we undertook a strategic review of our career pathways. This review resulted in the development of a structured early career programmes.

Our aim is to attract and develop the future leaders of our business through our early career programmes, providing working environments that allow our early career colleagues to flourish and help develop a workforce that is powered by diversity of thought and is ready for our now and future skill requirements.

The programme has an annual intake of candidates for apprenticeships, internships and graduate placements. Candidates benefit from a very structured introduction to the company, extensive training and exposure to various parts of the business.  In addition they are given a range of supports to optimise their experience.

Can you share your top tips on running a similar initiative?

Take a strategic approach and expect progress to take time. Review roles and create new levels to introduce candidates at different stages of their career. Put supports in place to ensure a smooth transition into the business. Listen for feedback and adapt and improve for each intake.

Learn more about the Elevate Pledge. 

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