Book your place – The University of Gloucestershire is launching a new ‘Digital Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship’ programme to support businesses across the County and south-west, and company leaders are invited to find out more by registering for a special Eventbrite presentation on
Tuesday 19th January, from 3-5pm.
Explaining why this opportunity is not to be missed, Professor Kamal Bechkoum, Head of The School of Computing and Engineering at the University of Gloucestershire, explains:
“Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with studying, typically one day a week, towards a work-based qualification, from GSCE or equivalent up to degree level, and usually take between one and four years to complete.
Developing highly-skilled employees
“The big picture is to provide targeted help for young people, getting them into work and gaining the skills they need, while also offering employers highly-capable workers.
“Adding an apprentice to your team is hugely beneficial and also a great way to respond and adapt to the changes we’re all currently experiencing. At the same time firms will foster improved employee loyalty and discover new ways to grow and develop.
“Different organisations face different challenges, but digitalisation is impacting every business and an apprentice specialising in this area is worth their weight in gold.”
The University of Gloucestershire’s Digital Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship programme begins in April 2021 and covers the following four areas:
Learners develop the skills to design, build and test high-quality software solutions, applying engineering principles to all stages of the development process, as well as incorporating rigorous security measures.
Apprentices focus on designing, installing and maintaining support communication networks, giving technical advice and guidance on configuration, cloud, administration and monitoring tools, while also ensuring network security.
Learners collect, organise and study data that provides new business insights, resulting in up-to-date, accurate and relevant analysis for organisations, while gaining a broad understanding of technology solutions in their roles.
Apprentices learn how to identify and analyse information from diverse data-sets, addressing complex problems and improving organisational processes. They source, access and manipulate data to achieve organisational goals.
Apprenticeships make financial sense
Professor Bechkoum continues: “In addition to these important skills businesses can receive up to £3,000 in incentive payments for taking on a new digital apprentice.
“The government has announced an extension of its funding scheme in this area, stating: ‘Businesses that take on new apprentices from 1st February 2021 can apply up to 30th April 2021.’ They add that this means for new apprentices aged 16 to 24 – employers will receive £2,000, and for those aged 25 and over employers will receive £1,500.”
“The government further notes that ‘these payments are in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice aged 16 to 18 years old, or under-25 with an education, health and care plan, or who has been in the care of their local authority.’”
Growth in digital demand
Digital skills are in demand everywhere and are required in at least 82% of online advertised openings across the UK, according to the ‘No Longer Optional: Employer Demand for Digital Skills’ report from Gov.uk.
This paper highlights that ‘specific digital skills commonly complement uniquely human abilities such as design, writing or communication, which in combination are difficult to automate and are critical to a firm’s success.’
In addition the latest CBI/Microsoft Tech Tracker 2020 report states that some ‘56% of businesses surveyed say they lack the right skills to extract value from their data,’ and ‘33% of UK firms are unable to make full use of their data to achieve critical goals.’
Professor Bechkoum adds: “This suggests that UK businesses need to grasp the opportunity to become leaders in using technology to drive better business outcomes and create inclusive workplaces that support employee learning and productivity.
“With the skills gap widening across the IT sector it is important to find innovative ways to attract and train diverse talent that meets business needs.
“The University of Gloucestershire’s versatile new apprenticeships will offer the opportunity to gain practical and technical skills for ongoing resilience and future growth. We look forward to explaining more about how these programmes can help transform your organisation.”