Congratulations from First Minister Alex Salmond as plans for new high-tech jobs take shape
The graduation ceremony for the first group of young people to successfully complete the new Highlands Apprenticeship Programme at Capgemini UK plc took place today at the company's new North of Scotland centre in Inverness. Capgemini is one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, and the apprenticeship scheme is an important part of the company's plan to create up to 500 new high-tech jobs in the Scottish Highlands over the next three years.
Graduation certificates were presented to the eleven successful apprentices by Gordon McGuiness, Deputy Director, Industry & Enterprise of Skills Development Scotland, and by Capgemini UK Delivery Director Christine McFadyen. Today's event was also supported by Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, whose organisation, together with the Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland, played a key role in facilitating Capgemini's Highland job creation and apprenticeship plans.
The Rt Hon Alex Salmond, MSP, First Minister of Scotland, commented: “I congratulate the first graduates of the Highlands Apprenticeship Programme and wish them every success for their career ahead.
“Having met some of Capgemini’s talented staff and management in Inverness in April, I’m particularly pleased that the company is now ahead of schedule in its plans to double the workforce in the Highland capital, with many more apprentices set to benefit.
“That is testament to the company’s faith in and commitment to the people of Inverness and the wider Highlands region, which offers an increasingly attractive, vibrant and competitive business environment for companies seeking to invest in Scotland.”
Capgemini has also today revealed significant progress in its plans, announced in April, for new high-tech jobs in the Highlands. It has already recruited 170 new employees in the North of Scotland while substantially expanding its Highlands Apprenticeship programme, with more than fifty young apprentices scheduled to graduate by June 2014.
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “We are delighted that this first round of apprentices are graduating today. Capgemini have shown their commitment not only to investing in the Highlands and Islands but also in the future of our young people, offering a path which could lead to a high value career in the financial and business services. Our support for the company is continuing and we wish both Capgemini and its new employees all the best in their new centre in Inverness.”
Gordon McGuinness, Deputy Director, Industry & Enterprise of Skills Development Scotland, said:
“We have supported Capgemini to create a very successful IT Modern Apprenticeship programme for employees in the Scottish Highlands. I’d like to congratulate all the Modern Apprentice graduates attending today – the young people have worked extremely hard to gain valuable qualifications and fantastic skills - it is clear that they will continue to play a vital role in the future expansion of the company for years to come.”
Capgemini's recruitment drive is continuing into 2014. It is seeking people with IT work experience, new graduates in all subjects keen to work in technology in the Scottish Highlands, and school-leavers interested in joining its Highlands Apprenticeship Programme.
Christine McFadyen, Capgemini UK Delivery Director, said: “It is wonderful to see our vision of the Scottish Highlands as a global centre of IT excellence taking shape with new jobs, new recruits and new apprentices. The young people we have graduating today have the drive, intelligence and enthusiasm to put Inverness firmly on the global map for excellence in IT development, services and support.”
Capgemini offers a broad spectrum of IT support, development and service capabilities from its Inverness facility, and views the location as a global centre of excellence on behalf of the company's multinational client base. All its new recruits undergo intensive training and education both initially and throughout their careers with the company. Its Highland apprentices undergo programmes designed by Capgemini in alliance with leading educational specialists Baltic Training Services. Training for Capgemini UK employees takes place on-site at a number of locations in Scotland and England, and also includes residential courses at the Capgemini University in France.