IT departments staffing up with summer trainees

Increasing numbers of companies are putting IT students through their paces in summer jobs in order to spot the next crop of talent.

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Increasing numbers of companies are putting IT students through their paces in summer jobs in order to spot the next crop of talent.

Graduate recruitment site Milkround.com currently has 168 placements for summer jobs or ‘internships’ on its site.

Barclays is seeking 35 IT students for eight week placements for its Chief Information Office (CIO) and the deadline for applicants runs out this week. Candidates and are placed on a variety of live project including the new Global Banking Platform project, said a spokesman. Promising interns are offered a place at the end of the placement. “It’s a good way for us to get to know each other” he said.

Microsoft also relies on internships to identify talent and for six years has hired IT students to work in its Cambridge laboratory for twelve weeks during the summer. Perks include subsidised accommodation, bike and discounted software and a “competitive salary”.

Dave Gartenberg, Microsoft UK’s HR director said,“The business wanted young talent and fresh thinking in its teams. Internships also provided opportunities within teams to grow soft skills like managing and mentoring people.”

Tilly Travers of the E-Skills Council confirmed that placements are a “win-win” learning experience for employer and student and a way to align business need with skills. “They offer tangible benefits to the employer of fresh thinking and enthusiasm”.

E-Skills sponsored degrees in IT for Business Management include summer placements as a core part of the curriculum, she pointed out.

Audit firms were pioneers in the UK in using summer work programmes to cream off the top graduates. Deloitte converts 90% of internships into full time hires according to Sarah Shillingford, recruitment partner at the firm. However the sector has also learned that interns have to be managed and remunerated in order to avoid brand damage: Deloitee pays interns 85% of graduate salary.

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