Visa Europe has recruited 14 IT trainees for the first year of its Higher Apprenticeship programme.
The scheme for school leavers was launched in April 2011. The apprentices have been recruited with the help of IT apprenticeship consultancy, PDS Group.
PDS helped Visa Europe to recruit apprentices and develop its scheme, as well as find a Higher Education (HE) provider.
Adam Banks, CTO at Visa Europe, said: "We recognise IT professionals need to possess a mix of business, interpersonal and technical skills and through our apprenticeship programme we hope to nurture talent and equip them wit these, which will in turn enhance our business."
Most of the apprentices will study for a foundation degree and "level 4" diploma while working in the company's technology division. An additional six business administration apprenticeships have been created at Visa Europe.
The government recently announced measures to cut red tape surrounding apprentice recruitment and training. Plans include simplification of employer guidance as well as payment and assessment of apprentices, in a move that could help encourage more firms to take on IT apprentices.
In March 2011, chancellor George Osborne announced funding for 50,000 new apprenticeships over the next four years and confirmed 80,000 additional work experience placements for young people, as well as funding for 12 new university technical colleges (UTC).
Government funding is currently available for companies considering creating a higher-level apprenticeship scheme. The closing date for applications is 16 September 2011.