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High levels of demand for fibre-optic broadband in the UK have led internet service provider (ISP) BT to increase its company headcount.

The broadband provider has doubled the number of apprenticeships it offers this year to help rollout the technology around the UK.

BT received 24,000 applications for just 221 places on this year's scheme, which sees successful candidates trained in IT, telecoms, electrical systems or customer service.

In response to this, the ISP said it will offer an additional 200 places on the scheme, each paying between £12,000 and £15,000, by Christmas 2010.

As well as receiving on-the-job training, BT apprentices study for a BTEC or foundation degree.

The new intake will contribute to BT's ongoing fibre-optic broadband rollout, which is continuing at pace around the UK.

BT recently announced the next set of 159 local telephone exchanges due to receive fibre-optic upgrades in 2011 as part of the £2.5 billion infrastructure investment.

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