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BBC Radio 4 – Creating More Apprentices

As I was driving into work this morning, I was listening to the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4. An interesting discussion came up around the UK government’s plans to an extra 75,000 adult apprenticeships over the next four years. Karen Brady, former managing director of Birmingham City Football Club and one of the judges on Lord Sugar’s television series The Apprentice, was being interviewed on whether she thought this was a good idea and how this could be achieved.

As someone who didn’t go to university and went straight into the workforce, Karen thinks apprentices are a “brilliant idea” as they create opportunities for young people, who want to increase and develop their skill set, to enter the workplace. As anyone of any age can apply for apprentices, they also provide older people with the chance for a career-change and to learn new skills. Apprentices are clearly in high demand – last year over 33,000 people applied for 200 apprentices at BT.

Could increase the number of apprentices be a way for a company to demonstrate Inclusion and Diversity? Share your thoughts below.

To listen to the interview with Karen Brady click here

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Economic Incentive for Telecom Infrastructure Investment

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama identified government investment in infrastructure as a key antidote to the U.S. economic doldrums. This is not a new concept. During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration spent $7 billion over a three year period to construct buildings, roads, parks, and bridges, bringing short-term jobs and long-term competitive advantage.

Nor is it strictly a U.S. strategy. During the recent downturn, multiple countries have started taking the same tack, but instead of dams and highways, they’re funding telecommunications network infrastructure.

According to a 2009 speech by Taylor Reynolds, an economist with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the numbers are impressive for countries both large and small:

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