IBM to increase graduate intake in 2010

IBM will increase the number of graduates it employs next year to satisfy the “crying need for talent” in the technology sector, Personnel Today has learned.

The technology giant’s decision bucks the trend set by other large employers, including steel maker Corus, which cut back its graduate intake this year, and BT, which closed its graduate scheme altogether.

Jonathan Ferrar, HR director at IBM UK & Ireland, promised to expand the graduate scheme from 94 places this year to 150 for 2010.

He told Personnel Today: “We recruit graduates because we can give them the training to develop new skills that we require. There are new technologies that we are putting in place and they require different skills, so we want to have people who can start from scratch and learn those.

“Where you get specialist skills there is definitely a war for that talent – there definitely is a crying need for that talent.”

A new analytics centre launched this week by the firm would also lead to the creation of 400 roles, Ferrar said, although it was too early to tell how many of those would be new jobs.

IBM has also launched a new management leadership programme for 80% for the firm’s managers. Topics covered include clarity of communication, managing performance, and how to manage during the downturn.

Ferrar said: “We felt it was really important to focus on our managers because we rely on them so much for doing a lot of the communications and helping our employees through difficult times.

“When times are harder, the skills of a manager become even more important.”

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