Outsourcer and consultant Accenture is starting a new IT apprenticeship programme in the north east.
Accenture is sponsoring 40 three-year apprenticeships over the next 12 months, and hopes to extend the programme in future years.
The programme has been designed with training firm NCG and will be delivered in partnership with Newcastle College and Intraining.
In February 2013, 20 apprentices will start the three-year programme, with 20 more starting later in the year. Each apprentice will gain a Higher Apprenticeship for IT, software, web & telecoms professionals, including a foundation degree and Level 4 BTEC diploma.
The apprentices will be based at Accenture’s global delivery centre on the Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside.
Accenture’s north east managing director Bob Paton said, “These apprentices will join our highly-skilled workforce and they will be offered high quality training and work, along with the potential of a full-time job at the end of the programme.”
Accenture said it was looking for youngsters who can demonstrate "a genuine interest in technology and its application in the business world".
In the first year the apprentices will train and work on computer application maintenance, system testing and service management skills. Apart from on-the-job training apprentices will complete 200 days of training and development provided by Accenture and NCG over the three years.
Accenture outsourcing rival Capgemini UK is more than doubling its intake of IT apprentices in 2012 to just over 200, and plans a further increase in 2013. The company says there has been a "surge of applications" from school leavers "seeking an economically attractive alternative to university".
Capgemini recruited 98 apprentices in 2011 but only 26 in 2010. It plans to recruit a total of 230 in 2013.
Earlier this year outsourcers and consultants Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, CSC, Fujitsu, HP, Logica, Siemens and Steria formed the "Charter Group" to support the hiring of more apprentices. The Charter Group is supported by e-skills UK, the British Computer Society and Business in the Community.