Suffolk: BT Adastral Park teams up with Smart421 to attract ICT graduates

BUSINESS leaders from BT and Smart421 have agreed to team up to help graduates get started on their careers as quickly as possible.

Both firms run their own graduate recruitment and training programmes but for the first time, from this month, they have agreed to work together to find ways of attracting and retaining the best ICT talent to the region.

The move is the brainchild of Ian Buxton, director at BT Adastral Park, at Martlesham Heath, near Ipswich, and Neil Miles, managing director at Smart421, the IT services firm based at the town’s Felaw Maltings. The two directors are keen to help graduates in the local area to find their feet in the world of work as quickly as possible.

So far, the two companies have agreed to compare their respective recruitment schemes to see if there are lessons to learn from each other in terms of recruitment and whether there are ways to make the Ipswich area even more attractive for graduates starting their careers.

They want to work together with schools, the local universities and others to ensure that they know what skills and capabilities employers such as BT and Smart421 need in the IT space. They also plan to develop communications which explain the bigger picture of why Suffolk is a great place to live and work that can be taken to university careers fairs.

Ian Buxton at BT Adastral Park said: “It is difficult enough for graduates to find their first job. We are trying to take some of that pain out of the process for them. Our scheme with Smart421 allows both companies to help graduate candidates who have the potential to be stars in our own world class communications business or in Smart421’s computer systems business.”

Neil Miles at Smart421 said: “We want to help graduates find the short route onto their career path with us or with BT, whether the graduate is best suited to the world of telecoms or has potential for a career in middleware and systems integration. The name of the game is to help graduates by cutting down on the time it takes them to find a job opportunity and to get accepted.”

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In 2011, BT Innovate & Design based at Adastral Park welcomed 30 people through their graduate recruitment programme. In 2012, BT and Smart421 between them aim to find around 78 great graduates to hire in the Ipswich area. If you are a graduate looking for your first job in information and communications technology (ICT), or you know somebody who is, then visit or .