A new state-of-the-art IT Academy is to be launched in Wolverhampton by banking giant HBOS, creating around 50 jobs every year.
HBOS, which counts Birmingham Midshires as part of its group, is transforming its Horseley Fields site into a technology centre for graduates and exceptional school leavers.
The bank says the move will be a major boost for the economy in the city, with an influx of highly-skilled graduates moving to the area and using local amenities such as rental properties and restaurants.
Up to 75 trainees will be taken on at the new academy every year and tutored by highly-skilled professionals from HBOS who are already working in the IT sector.
They will have first-hand experience of the latest tech-nology and access to a wide range of software. Once trained, the graduates will move to various HBOS sites nationwide.
Plans are also in the pipeline to link the centre with the Midlands's top universities to provide potential employees with direct access to the scheme from the moment they graduate. Workmen are currently revamping the Horseley Fields buildings, which previously housed Birmingham Midshires' training centre before it was transferred to new-look, expanded facilities at its head office in Pendeford.
The first batch of graduates, who have already been recruited, will begin employment as early as January. Details on recruitment for the second intake in June 2007 will be available in the New Year.
Head of IT for HBOS Retail, Robin Young, said: "This is part of a wider approach to support the increasing challenges faced by our business.
"It's a really exciting change in the way we recruit people.
"The purpose-built academy will assist development through a mixture of training and live-project experience.
"Once they've gained the necessary skills and experience, candidates will have the opportunity to work in one of the HBOS retail teams i ncluding Birmingham Midshires."
Wolverhampton City Council deputy leader and head of regeneration Coun Peter Bils on encouraged more businesses to follow BM's l ead and invest in the community.
He said: "The creation of jobs and specifically in the new industries of IT and knowledge is fantastic news for Wolverhampton.
"Bringing graduates to the area is an important part of the development of Wolverhampton and this is a brilliant example of how this can be done.
"It is great to see companies like HBOS continuing to invest in the local economy to improve its well-being. This really is terrific news."