Veterans training: the case of IBM

In a world of cloud-based computing, businesses are increasingly looking to harness big data as a means of gaining more information to better serve their customers. As a result, industry experts cite data analytics as one of the fastest growing career fields, and predict that businesses will need to hire at least 200,000 data analysts by 2018. One of the applications of data analytics is in the area of cyber-security.

With qualified candidates in short supply, IBM saw an opportunity to help Service leavers capitalise on their technical capabilities by training for a civilian career in cyber-security. Working in partnership with Salute My Job and the Corsham Institute, IBM UK launched the Veterans Employment Accelerator programme, offering appropriately experienced Service leavers the chance to enhance their skills with free training and certification in IBM’s i2 Analyst’s Notebook software.

The i2 Analyst’s Notebook is software created by IBM that allows analysts to quickly collate, analyse and visualize data from disparate sources while reducing the time required to discover key information in complex data. The software is widely used by intelligence agencies, police forces and commercial organisations to prevent criminal, terrorist and fraudulent activities. People trained in the use of the software are in high demand.

The first training of this type took place in at the beginning of 2015 and 35 trainees successfully gained i2 certification. With awareness of the programme growing, IBM hopes a further 45 veterans will be trained to use the expert software by the end of the 2016.

Specialist military recruitment consultants, Salute My Job are responsible for marketing the programme and selecting ex-military candidates with the right type of experience and potential. Typically, ex-Service personnel with an intelligence or signals background are ideally suited to 5-day training, although IBM is keen to ensure it is accessible to all.

Looking ahead, IBM wants to develop the programme so that it provides end-to-end support for ex-Service men and women, as Mark Wakefield Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Manager explains. “The reality is IBM itself will only employ one or two trainees per year at best, so we do see this as a CSR initiative. However, we also see that this is a need that many of our clients have, so our hope and ambition is that by providing the training we can ensure they is a ready supply of qualified people available on the market”.

If your organisation is keen to support the ex-military community by offering jobs and assistance to trained and certified graduates of the programme, please contact Mark Wakefield.