Capgemini embarks on Midlands-based apprentice push

You're hired sign

IT consultancy Capgemini UK is on the hunt for 100 new apprentices from the Birmingham and West Midlands region for its youth employment programme.

Capgemini UK took on 44 apprentices from the Birmingham area in 2012 and plans to follow on the success of the previous year's programme by expanding its recruitment drive to the West Midlands.

"Last year's apprentice intake have been a huge success with our clients and our managers," said Brian Sinclair, the head of Fresher Recruitment at Capgemini UK.

Apprenticeships have the potential to unlock thousands of jobs and provide businesses with young people who can contribute new ideas.

"This year we want more of the obviously hardworking students form Britain's industrial heartland for roles based in the West Midlands, an area of strategic importance to Capgemini."

The company offers two programmes for people aged 16-to-24 who are seeking a career in IT with the firm, whose clients include HM Revenue & Customs, the Metropolitan Police and Rolls Royce.

The Advanced Apprenticeship programme takes place over an 18 month period and is targeted at young people aged 16-plus with good GCSEs or equivalent.

The Higher Apprenticeship/Sponsored Degree programme is for people aged over 18 with two A-levels or equivalent. This is a five-year programme that offers apprentices the opportunity to study for a BSc degree in Computing and IT Practice and have all their tuition fees paid.

Apprentices also receive a salary of 10,000 pa for the first three months during their accelerated learning residential course. After completing this, their salary increases to 14,500 pa for Advanced Apprentices and 16,000 pa for Higher Apprentices.

The apprentices will work at Capgemini's offices in Birmingham, Telford, Aston and Shropshire.

These programmes could offer young people an alternative to university, and could go some way to tackling the issue of youth unemployment in the UK.

According to figures published by the Government earlier today, the number of young people out of work rose by 1,000 to 957,000 during the three months to the end of November.

Scott Fletcher, chairman and founder of Manchester-based IT service provider ANS Group, said apprenticeship schemes can make it easier for young people to find work.

"Apprenticeships have the potential to unlock thousands of jobs and provide businesses with young people who can contribute new ideas, aren't limited by conventional thinking, and are loyal to companies that back them with training and support," Fletcher added.