British Gas has launched a new scheme to attract young IT talent by offering 30 apprenticeships.
The two-year scheme is designed to attract for school leavers with little or no experience in IT, but with a "passion for technology and an enthusiasm to learn".
The scheme offers a combination of on-the-job training and classroom-based learning, and participants will come away with a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship qualification and a Duke of Edinburgh gold award.
"You’ll work towards respected industry qualifications you won’t find in academia," group CIO Dave Bickerton said in a document explaining the scheme (.pdf) to candidates. "And the best thing is you’ll get vital experience of systems as you learn."
The apprenticeships are available in four streams: software development, software testing, projects and business engagement and user experience.
The scheme is backed by the UK’s IT skills authority e-skills. According to the e-skills website, apprentices are paid a minimum of £100 a week.
Earlier this year, British Gas’ parent company Centrica signed a £250 million IT outsourcing deal with Hewlett-Packard, which will provide utility web hosting services.
Last year, the company was criticised for cutting jobs while profit more than doubled in the last year. CEO Sam Laidlaw reposponded to critics in the Daily Telegraph. "“The government wants energy companies to fund £200 billion of investment over the next decade to ensure secure, clean energy for the future,” he wrote. “We can only raise this enormous sum of money if we are profitable.”