Modi visit: graduate internship scheme in India aims to create UK ‘digital talent’

British Council announces new partnership as Indian prime minister visits UK

November 13, 2015

British university graduates will be given an opportunity to spend a year training at a global information technology company based in India, thanks to an initiative designed to help the UK bridge the digital skills gap.

A new partnership between the British Council and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a global IT services and consulting firm headquartered in Mumbai, will provide one-year internships for 1,000 graduate between 2016 and 2020. The training will take place at TCS’ innovation labs and software development centres across India.

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The Social Market Foundation has predicted that the UK will face an annual shortfall in domestic supply of about 40,000 graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is because employment opportunities in the UK IT sector are set to grow at almost twice the UK average employment rate between now and 2020, according to figures from the Tech Partnership.

The TCS-British Council partnership aims to address this challenge by helping to foster the next generation of “digital talent” in the UK, thus providing British employers with the graduates they will need to succeed in the future.

Speaking as the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi visited the UK, British Council chief executive Sir Ciarán Devane said: “This partnership marks a great new phase in the UK’s developing relationship with India. It is fantastic that a thousand young graduates from across the UK will be able to benefit from India’s expertise in digital technology and also gain invaluable international experience working at TCS, one of the world’s largest technology consultancy organisations.

“India is emerging as a global superpower, and initiatives such as this will enable the next generations in both countries to engage, learn and grow with each other.”

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chief executive officer and managing director at TCS, added: “As a technology partner to many large British businesses, we see their desire to exploit new and exciting opportunities presented by digital technologies. However, all too often, our customers are unable to do this quickly as the UK talent pool needs knowledge and training in these new technologies.

“By providing 1,000 British graduates with the opportunity to work and train with TCS, we hope to help address this skills shortage and give UK employers access to the digital expertise that they will need to compete and succeed in the hyper-connected digital economy.”

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