HP has insisted it will involve more small to medium sized enterprise (SME) suppliers in its projects.

The services firm said it believed SMEs were key to helping the UK rise from recession. It has claimed to be "the first large systems integrator to announce a programme of initiatives to support SMEs specifically for the UK".

HP currently uses over 600 SMEs in its UK supply chain, representing nearly 10 percent of supplier spend. The company aims to increase this to over 15 percent by the end of 2013 with the addition of a further 150 SMEs.

Other measures include the appointment of an "SME champion" within HP. HP has set up an online registration site for SMEs to apply to become approved suppliers. HP will use this as a primary source when building systems for its customers.

"We believe there is potential to help SMEs bring innovation to our customers and growth to the British economy," said vice president and managing director of HP UK Nick Wilson.

Other large IT companies with a strong UK presence will be expected to follow suit, to help tackle rising unemployment rates creeping towards three million. The latest rise announced today took the unemployment rate to 8.4 percent of those able to work.

Baroness Wilcox, parliamentary under-secretary for business, innovation and skills, said: "The government has introduced reforms to the public procurement process to help more SMEs win central government contracts. Small businesses are vital for driving growth in our economy, and the government wants to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business."

HP recently became one of the first major technology companies to sign the government's Prompt Payment Code, under which companies vow to stick to the payment schedules in their supplier contracts.