Global information company Reuters is continually seeking to improve its graduate training programme in order to attract and retain high-quality graduates.
QA and the Reuters Graduate Academy
Reuters wanted to provide a structured, three-week training module to form part of the induction programme for its business analysts, called The Reuters Graduate Academy. They also needed a two-day Multi-Tasking Module (MTM) forming part of the induction week immediately prior to the Academy.
The key objective for the programme was to train graduates in a number of core technology and team-skills areas that would provide them with the ability to be effective and contribute productively to Reuters’ business requirements. This programme needed to build on the skills, energy and enthusiasm of the high-calibre graduates to make them valuable members of the organisation.
To do this, QA created an exciting, high-energy, business-focused environment where the technical skills, techniques and knowledge needed were interwoven with business skills, teamwork and project work, all based on the Reuters environment and challenges.
- Programmes were designed to replicate as far as possible the work environment the graduates could face.
- Graduates learned how to solve actual problems, working in a team, showing initiative and using a whole range of skills simultaneously.
- The programme formed a strong foundation for coherent skills and career development for the recruits.
The emphasis of the Academy was on Analysis, Design, Testing, Project Management and Configuration Management, with best-practice program design. It also comprised training around the whole project lifecycle.
- The 17-day programme included a number of technical training modules and a business-focused project.
- All graduate attendees gained an improved awareness of Reuters’ processes and procedures, in particular by including participants from within the company.
- The case study was an important element of the Academy and was targeted at an agreed Reuters business area.
To assess graduates’ baseline knowledge in the key skill areas needed for the programme and to help put them into appropriate groups, pre-programme assessments were provided covering Project Skills, Analysis and Design Skills, Testing Skills, and Unified Modelling Language (UML).
At the end of the Academy a short test was given to assess the graduates’ assimilation of knowledge on the course. A feedback mechanism was incorporated into the programme to report on the graduates’ progress, both informally during the delivery of the programme, and formally at its conclusion, and to ensure continuous improvement for future implementation of the Academy. Workbooks were also maintained by the graduate.
The Graduate Academy programme provided strong results when it was first run in 2004, and has since run annually with positive results.
- By the end of the programme the graduates had increased in confidence and were able to make the transition easily into the Reuters team environment.
- A smooth knowledge transfer was completed, enabling the graduates to contribute effectively and productively to the Reuters business markets.
Success was measured by the ability and confidence of the graduates to present and communicate the case study work, and the results of the pre- and post-course tests.
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