· News

Vodafone's new 50-strong graduate training programme to start in September 2010

Vodafone UK has launched its 2010 graduate programme.

The company has places for 50 graduates, who will earn a £25,000 annual salary, with applications starting in September 2010.

Matthew Brearley, HR director at Vodafone UK, said: "We want to attract smart, internet-savvy people, who want to make a real difference by being part of our business.

"We are looking for graduates who are passionate about customers, who will thrive in a dynamic environment, get involved and add value."

Graduates will spend two months in one of Vodafone's 400 retail stores, building their customer obsession and product knowledge before moving into areas including marketing, finance, HR, technology and customer service. The best graduates will be offered a permanent role in the company at the end of the 12-month period.

The news comes within a fortnight of the company being criticised for having a weak talent pool.

In an open letter to Vodafone's board of directors, Robin Beinenstock, an analyst at Bernstein Research, wrote: "We think Vodafone needs to fundamentally change its organisational culture. Many of Vodafone's managers have been there since the glory days and throughout the decline of their businesses; the same managers that led the business into trouble in the first place cannot lead a turnaround."