Technology giant Fujitsu will more than double its graduate workforce intake for 2014 in a bid to help tackle youth unemployment in the UK and Ireland.
The company, which is headquartered in Japan, told IBTimes UK that it plans to recruit 83 graduates by September 2014 – representing a 118% hike on the firm's 2010 intake (38) and a 7.7% increase on last year's recruitment drive (77).
"As long as we keep growing we can keep growing our graduate and apprenticeship population, but they also contribute to our growth – it's a self-fulfilling prophesy," explained Sarah Bampton, a HR business partner at Fujitsu.
The business could also hire more than 100 apprentices for the firm's current financial year as since April 2013 the company has recruited 85 apprentices – most of which are from England, but 23 are from Northern Ireland.
Bampton also said she was confident that Fujitsu, which currently employs more than 550 under-25s in its business, would be able to fill its remaining 19 vacancies.
"We certainly don't struggle to attract high quality candidates – I would expect that we would be able to fill those vacancies within the next month," Bampton explained.
Almost three in ten (29%) of the firm's current apprentices 29% are female – up from 20% in 2011 and 27% in 2012.
Brampton stressed the business is "always looking" to boost female participation in its apprenticeship scheme, but ruled out a quote system.
"We wouldn't ever set a target because that drives the wrong behaviours," the HR manager said.
"But we're always looking to make IT a bit more of an attractive industry for females to work in."
Brampton explained, among other things, that the company has analysed the wording of its recruitment advertising to make it more appealing for woman.
The news will be a boost for the more than 900,000 young people out of work in the UK and comes amid National Apprenticeship Week, which takes place from 3 to 7 March 2014.