Rugby Academy players in job swap at BT

Rugby players from the Scottish BT Sport Academy took part in a job swap at BT’s Edinburgh HQ, where they got a taster for some of the jobs on offer. A total of 17 BT Sport Academy Stage 3 players met with more than a dozen apprentices and senior managers who work across a range of roles in the company.

The young players, aged between 18 and 24, heard how BT protects communication networks from cyber security threats and turned their hands to splicing fibre broadband cables together. The demonstrations by BT apprentices and senior managers gave the players an insight into the range of careers and the opportunities available.

The players taking part in the job swap attend the BT Sport Academy, established in 2014 to help nurture the best players in Scotland. The academy is located across four locations at Edinburgh’s Napier University, Netherdale Campus in Galashiels, the University of Aberdeen and Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld.

Stephen Gemmell, Technical Director for Scottish Rugby Union, said: “Scottish Rugby is committed to developing the person, as well as the player, and today was a great example of this happening in practice. For our young players to get first-hand experience of life within BT was invaluable in not only broadening their skills but also reaffirming the need for them to take control of their future and to commit to doing something alongside rugby to support this. I’d like to thank BT for their continued support of our Academy and for providing this opportunity for our players.”

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “BT is a proud supporter of Scottish Rugby and today’s event marks another step forward in the partnership between our two organisations. We’re both passionate about nurturing new talent and getting the best from our people.

“BT Sport beams the rugby matches some of these young players might one day play in straight into homes, clubs and pubs around the country. It’s fantastic that Scottish rugby’s star players of the future were able to see how some of that technology works and explore some of the careers available in BT.”

Last year, BT Group, including Openreach, recruited more than 300 apprentice and trainees across Scotland into roles such as engineering, cyber security and contact centres. BT employs around 7,400 people in Scotland, including in Scotland’s digital network business, Openreach. A reciprocal swap is planned for 2018 where BT staff will visit BT Murrayfield and have a go at Scottish Rugby’s Tartan Touch, its short form version of the game which helps introduce new players to rugby.

Since 2014, BT's investment has helped redefine the rugby landscape in Scotland through investment in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, BT league and cup competitions, as well as supporting the Club Sustainability Fund to provide investment in capital projects at grassroot clubs.

BT signed a four-year sponsorship of Scottish rugby in 2014 with an extension of three years agreed earlier in 2017, taking the agreement to 2021. BT retains the naming rights to Scotland's largest sporting stadium, BT Murrayfield, alongside its role as principal partner of the Scotland national team and Scotland 7s.