Computer services giant Capgemini is looking for 100 new apprentices in the Birmingham and West Midlands region as it seeks to nurture talent from a younger age, rather than battling it out with its fierce rivals for a skilled graduate.
The company is looking to build on a successful apprenticeship programme in 2012 and will recruit throughout the year, with its first intake this March. It offers an 18-month Advanced Apprenticeship programme for those aged 16 and over with good GCSEs or equivalent, and a five-year Higher-Apprenticeship programme for people aged 18 and above with two A-levels or equivalent.
Those who join the Higher Apprentice Programme will have an opportunity to gain a BSc (Hons) degree in computing and IT practice, with Capgemini paying all of the tuition fees.
Brian Sinclair, head of fresher recruitment at Capgemini, told Computing that the company is looking to hire apprentices who can demonstrate their passion for technology.
"We're looking for a passion in IT, whether it is from academic studies like GCSEs or A-levels or something the applicant is focused on part-time as a hobby. It has to be someone who is really interested in the world of technology," he said.
"It's good to work with team players, people who have good communication skills, a lot of potential and interests and raw ability so that we can train them to be a proper IT professional in a short space of time," he added.
Capgemini's apprentice programme manager, Rebecca Plant, explained that the programme offers the opportunity for students to gain Level 4 apprenticeship qualification, while also enabling those on the fees-paid tuition course to graduate debt free.
"We sponsor them for their full degree so there is no £15,000 to £20,000 debt of tuition fees. It offers them unique work experience to learn their skill or trade of software development in a big organisation," she said.
Both programmes, which were developed in conjunction with E-Skills UK, the British Computer Society and Business in the Community, include a 12-week residential course at the Capgemini National Apprentice Training Centre, followed by on-the-job training working with senior employees on client projects.