Capgemini has today launched a Higher Apprentice Programme in software development to support the Mayor of London’s apprenticeship campaign.

The first 24 apprentices on the programme will be from London, and will be joining the company in September for work experience while studying for an Open University degree in Computing and IT Practice.

Christine Hodgson, UK Chairman at Capgemini, said: “This is an extension of the apprenticeship scheme we established in 2008 and is the first time we have sought an alternative to IT graduates, which have traditionally been the requirement not only of our company, but the IT industry as a whole. We expect to have a new generation of qualified developers and engineers who have been through the scheme working on some of our key clients.”

The new programme was announced as Mayor Boris Johnson revealed that his campaign, in partnership with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), had surpassed its target to create 20,000 apprenticeships in the capital three months early.

A total of 28,120 apprentices have found places on schemes with companies across a range of business industries.

A number of big companies, including Accenture, Microsoft and HSBC, have already announced apprenticeship schemes in response to the Mayor’s call last November. Today, BSkyB and Visa Europe joined Capgemini in announcing new schemes, with Sky creating 30 positions.

Deborah Baker, Sky’s director for People, said: “The placements will give candidates experiences of working behind the scenes at Sky as part of our Broadcast Operations, Drama or News teams or at the cutting edge of technology as part of our Sky Networks team.”