BT Axes Graduate Recruitment

(BBC) – TELECOMS GIANT, BT, has closed its graduate recruitment programme as it continues to cut costs in the downturn.

The firm said it had no plans to reopen the scheme, but added that it remained ‘committed to the 2009 intake,’ who are due to start in September.

The news will add to rising concern about youth unemployment. According to BBC calculations, the unemployment rate among 16 to 24 year olds stands at 19%.

In May, BT said it planned to cut about 15,000 jobs in 2009, mostly in the UK.

‘In light of the current economic environment and headcount pressures, BT has taken the decision to cease graduate recruitment activity and are no longer running a graduate recruitment programme,’ a company spokesperson said.

‘At the present time, there is no timeline for re-entry.’

BT is the first major UK employer to formally close its graduate recruitment scheme since the recession began last year, says BBC business correspondent Joe Lynam.

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