At the end of August 2009, one of the leading companies in the UK, British Telecom has totally shut down their graduate recruitment scheme and is the first major company to do so. A BT spokesperson said, “In light of the current economic environment and headcount pressures, BT has taken the decision to cease graduate recruitment activity.”
BT have also announced this year, in May, a 15,000 staff cut back to help weather the economic storm and have now made the move to cease any recruitment from graduate sources. This is perhaps an ethical move with them having to make so many cut backs, why would they continue to hire staff, even graduates. It would certainly be a sore point for any ex BT worker, if they were to continue hiring staff, when they have had to lose their job. BT have said this is only a temporary measure to protect the company during the economic downturn and hope to reopen their scheme as soon as it is financially viable to do so. “Very few employers have abandoned their graduate recruitment programmes altogether, and most are likely to reinstate recruitment levels at the first sign of an upturn in the economy,” said Carl Gilleard, chief executive of AGR (Associate of Graduate Recruiters), so this does not seem to be a general trend throughout the UK.
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