A scheme to recruit would-be undergraduates as employees and fund them through a BA degree course has been launched by IT services firm LogicaCMG.
The move is aimed at tackling recruitment problems in the IT services industry.
Charlie Painter, operations director for LogicaCMG’s UK telecoms division, said, “What is becoming apparent is the graduate marketplace is changing. There are fewer graduates coming through, and our market, IT services, isn’t as attractive as five or six years ago. We are not seeing the cream any more. We wanted to try something different.”
Under the scheme, which will be run by the telecoms division, an initial cohort of 20 young people with good A-levels or comparable qualifications, will join the company as paid full-time employees.
They will be released for one day a week for three years to complete a specially tailored BA (Hons) degree in Management (Information Technology) at the University of Winchester.
Painter said Winchester had been chosen because it offered a more “business-centric” rather than purely technology-focused degree. Logica will also provide some of the content for course modules.
The recruits are expected to remain with Logica for three years after graduation – or repay the cost of the degree course.
Painter said the scheme aimed to produce graduates more fitted to working in the industry. After three years, the firm would have staff with more “self-discipline and business nous” than raw graduates from traditional degree courses, he said.
“One of the reasons we are doing this is that we can train people in our way of doing things. We get a long run at them and we should get more out of them.”
On their working days, the recruits will be placed in projects in areas such as testing, configuration of applications and project administration.
“They will get a taste of life in various practices and at the end of the three years, they can choose where to specialise,” Painter said.
The recruits will be paid around £13,000 a year and will receive staff benefits and a laptop computer, as well as having their course fees paid. After three years, they could expect a rise to “slightly above the fresh graduate salary”, reflecting their higher value to the company, Painter said.
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