enabling our trainees to be successful in their next steps, whatever they may be.


“The future of work is one of the most urgent questions for business today. We believe that business and government must work together to expand access to new skills through education efforts, partnerships and new ways for professionals to learn such as Movement to Work. The global workforce of the future is one that is equipped with a new generation of skills that are essential to the fabric of our business. There will be a need for what we call ‘new collar’ jobs in some of the technology industry’s fastest growing fields – from cybersecurity and cloud computing to cognitive business or artificial intelligence and digital design – so having the right skills is what matters most, and when it comes to these types of jobs, that’s not always a bachelor’s degree.” 

Bill Kelleher, Chief Executive, IBM United Kingdom and Ireland

Sector Technology
UK Workforce 21,000
Placement Model Internal work experience with City Gateway and Hampshire County Council
Funding Source

IBM’s Ignite program has been running since 2015 as part of a CSR initiative to support young people gain the skills and experience, they need to find a meaningful role for their first or next steps on the career ladder. IBM is externally recognised for its delivery in supporting young people succeed in meeting their goals and potential. All of their Early Professional programs  are focused on personal development and growth for the individual regardless of the program level of entry.

IBM Case Study

Alex Best

“My journey began in January 2017 when I started on the City Gateway traineeship and successfully gained a 5 week work placement on on IBM’s ‘Ignite’ program. I was placed within IBM’s Brand and Communications team in the Marketing Department where the team focus on raising the profile of IBM in the UK & Ireland. My role was challenging and extremely varied and included a range of activities; supporting the Brand Systems, Internal Communications & External Relations teams. My day to day activities included the management of their social media channels, communication platforms, creation of social copy, newsletters and the filming and editing of presentational material.

My role and the support of my IBM team and mentors allowed me to gain experience working in a corporate environment, developing my skills, employability, building relationships and an extensive network of IBMers.

I received excellent feedback from both my team and the Ignite leadership over the course of my placement and my team were keen to find a opportunity to bring me on board on a paid placement.

In May 2017, following the success of my placement and the professionalism and dedication that I demonstrated on my placement,  I was offered the chance to return to IBM for a year as part of Futures programme  returning to the Brand & Communications team replacing their current intern. During my Futures placement my role evolved and expanded and I demonstrated my skills and further gained the trust and respect of my team. This led to deeper and more challenging roles increasing the level of my responsibility in the team. I was successfully delivering the publishing and distribution of IBM UK’s internal newsletters, creation of infographics and images for communication platforms and collaboration with external agencies to release brand advertisments for different levels. My experience was life changing and I knew that IBM was where I wanted to be and I was keen to take on my next challenge.

After investigating the opportunities available internally I applied for an IBM apprenticeship  in IX and was offered a fast track opportunity due to the success of my Ignite and Futures placements. I am currently on the Junior Management Consultant pathway and working as a PMO for the Virgin Money account. Ignite was a crucial step in  achieveing my apprenticeship and enabled me to lay a foundation which just over a year later is demonstrated in business results, skills, networking and career progression.”

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