British Airways IT department is expanding a summer placement scheme in a drive to increase its connections with IT undergraduates in the region.
After a successful pilot last year, the airline is taking another six student interns from Northumbria University over a twelve week period this summer.
“It’s a way of getting to know what the degree course is capable of producing and also a chance to have a look at the students on a personal basis too”, said Paul Binks, senior manager of information management, BA Newcastle.
The IT department was particularly keen to see the quality of students that the new IT Management Business degree, which is championed by e-Skills UK.
The 300-strong IT department based in Newcastle works on the airline’s operation system, crew planning system, HR and finance systems and retail website. The BA graduate recruitment programme currently hires IT graduates as well as students from non-IT disciplines to develop new talent for the department.
Binks said his initial expectations of the summer placement scheme were not high but was pleased at the contribution from a single intern last year: “Because of the nature of the degree – we found she was able to contribute straight away.”
The intern performed testing on a flight programming systems “it was an introduction to a very rigorous system” – and produced work for BA.com.
Eventually BA’s summer placement scheme will support the airline’s graduate recruitment programme, although there’s no intention to make job offers to successful interns at present.
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