An Insight into IBM’s UK Apprenticeships Scheme

By Jenny Taylor

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IBM apprentices competing in the final of the Brathay National Apprentice Challenge

At IBM UK, we are proud to offer a wide range of entry level programmes for school leavers.  That includes a programme for those who decide that academia is not for them and are keen and eager to kick start their careers straight from school or college, rather than go to university.

Apprenticeships provide a fantastic opportunity to join IBM straight from school and go immediately into permanent long term employment, with great career opportunities from day one.

What could an IBM apprentice expect to gain and/or learn?

We offer Apprenticeships in Technology, Business, Sales and HR and our apprentices are placed straight into roles which match these aspirational career paths. Apprentices could be working with our prestigious clients right from the start of their IBM career.  A formal Higher Apprenticeship qualification is offered and some apprentices go on to the next level: a degree apprenticeship, which allows them to gain a BSc Honours in Digital & Technology Solutions. It’s a fantastic all round learning experience.

Apprentices have immediate access to the most eminent people in IBM: Distinguished Engineers and Master Inventors, providing them with amazing opportunities to learn and also promote and develop their own innovative ideas.

What makes Apprenticeships stand out from other entry level programmes?

As manager of all the UK’s graduate, student and apprenticeship programmes, I’m privileged to be able to view the whole spectrum of our Entry Level Programmes.  Since we started the programme six years ago, it’s been a never ending source of delight for me to see the incredible success of our apprentices as their dedication, motivation and drive make them highly sought after IBMers, working across a wide spectrum of industries and clients. The programme has been an outstanding success, producing inspirational and high performing millennial IBMers. I see it as an invaluable addition to our Early Professionals’ portfolio as they bring fresh and insightful ways of remaining inclusive and contemporary.

It’s not just the “job”

IBM apprentices have the opportunity to take on additional challenges. For example, our apprentices participate in an annual national apprentice team competition, undertaking a series of exciting and interactive work-related assignments to develop new skills and showcase the value of apprenticeships by engaging with young people, educational establishments and businesses.  They also undertake a community project for the benefit of young people.

Through these challenges, the apprentices enhance their teambuilding, leadership, logistical and communications abilities in ways which will be different from their day-to-day project duties.

What have apprentices gone on to do after the programme?

We see our apprentices as our leaders of the future and they have qualified for promotion into an IBM profession, putting them on the same career path as all other professionals in IBM.

IBM apprentices have already made their mark with external eminence.  They have achieved national recognition through award winning activities, and they were the first professionals to be accredited on the British Computing Society Register of IT.

They have proved that apprenticeships are excellent way of ensuring that technology moves along with the next generation.

What do you look for in applicants?

We are looking for personal characteristics such as energy, creativity and passion for our business. An ability to work in teams is also really important to us, along with great communication skills.  As 80% of an apprenticeship qualification is work-based, it’s vital for us to find people who have a preference for learning on-the-job as opposed to in a classroom. So, people who are keen to start work and learn industry knowledge and leading edge digital skills from Day 1.

To find out more about our apprentices scheme, visit our UK recruitment website.

To keep up to date with our career opportunities and other IBM news, connect with us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.

What will you make with IBM?


One thought

  1. The main reason I went to University rather than going straight to IBM was so I could get a job with IBM. It’s good to see IBM has changed its policy on this.

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