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ANS opens apprenticeship scheme to channel

Firm adds its apprenticeship academy to the range of benefits available for its indirect partners to tap into

ANS has cut the ribbon on an Academy as a Service to provide partners with access to its apprenticeship programme.

The digital transformation player has been bolstering the support it provides to its indirect business unit via its partner programme, and is now adding the experiences it has gained from running an apprenticeship scheme to the list.

Although many channel players run schemes, it is a challenging process, often requiring external expertise and meeting educational standards that make it too difficult for many partners to consider handling themselves.

ANS has gained an Ofsted ranking of outstanding for its apprenticeship scheme and is keen to share the lessons it has learned with its wider channel community.

“Through the Academy, we provide apprentices with an experience they won’t get with any other training provider. We design and build the right programmes alongside our partners to ensure wraparound support for both the apprentice and employer, including the newest technologies in cyber and infrastructure,” said Thomas Robinson, head of apprenticeships at ANS.

The ANS Academy can provide benefits for partner apprentices and provide a training process that has a proven track record.

Ryan Martin, head of indirect at ANS, said the ambition was to share its experiences and improve skills across the industry: “We wanted to take our Ofsted Outstanding training to our channel community, utilising our experience and success in building early career pipelines for their business and building a diverse and skilled workforce.”

There has been increasing recognition that the channel could benefit from gaining access to apprenticeship schemes run by vendors and other members of the ecosystem.

The idea of apprenticeships is one the current government has been keen to promote, with the Conservatives indicating they will expand efforts in that area if they win next month’s election.

Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls, said commitment to increasing tech skills was needed but current schemes often failed to deliver.

“Investing in training is crucial in addressing the digital skills gap, however the apprenticeship levy is not fit for purpose. As it stands, the lion’s share of levy funds is spent on employees, rather than young people, which misses a golden opportunity to build a tech talent pipeline,” she said.

“Apprenticeship dropout rates in England are about one in two. If the government is serious about fixing the skills gap, the levy must be more focused on digital skills, and flexible so businesses can use the funds to reskill their workforce, as well as funding high quality pre-employment courses,” she added.

Speaking to MicroScope in April, Ash Gawthorp, chief academy officer at Ten10, who has been involved with training and supporting channel apprenticeship schemes, said there had to be a commitment to supporting apprentices if there was going to be success.

“When the project deadline is looming, that’s the time when those individuals need the most support,” he said. “And that’s often the time when the team’s least able to provide it,” he said. “The danger is that doubt sets in, and with the completion rates of apprenticeships coming in at under 60%, the candidate loses faith in the process.”

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