BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is calling on employers to support apprenticeship schemes to close the skills gap, as National Apprenticeship Week starts.
National Apprenticeship Week runs from 9-13 March 2015 and BCS has been named as an assessment organisation for the Digital Industry Trailblazer apprenticeships.
The Trailblazers campaign launched in October 2013, as an apprenticeship scheme made up of large and small employers and professional bodies that have collaborated on the apprenticeship standards to ensure apprentices undergo a high standard of training.
The Digital Industry Trailblazer standards have been created by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in line with the Professional Registration of IT Technicians, which the BCS and the Gatsby Foundation will launch later this year.
Individuals awarded an IT Trailblazer apprenticeship will be eligible to apply for a place on the professional register. The standards launched alongside the government campaign Get In, Go Far.
Read more about IT apprenticeships
- BT has launched a major job-creation scheme involving 700 apprenticeships and 300 graduate positions across the UK.
- Nesta has invested half a million pounds into a website to help young people connect with employers and colleges to find apprenticeship schemes.
- More than 10 applicants for every ICT apprenticeship as interest rises but fewer people are offered placements.
Apprenticeship job entry route
The first two IT apprenticeships to launch this week are Network Engineer and Software Developer.
Paul Fletcher, group CEO of the Institute, said research shows the IT profession will face a serious skills shortage in the coming years: "We must address this by encouraging young people to recognise IT as a great career option and provide them with different entry points. Apprenticeships are one entry option, offering young people an exciting, hands-on approach to learning with direct access to a career that they may not have considered otherwise.
“I know the benefit of apprenticeships from personal experience as I started my own career in this way and have always been very grateful for the fantastic foundation it created for my ongoing development. For employers, apprenticeships are a great way to attract new talent.”
Stefano Capaldo, managing director from Firebrand Training, said: “Many more young people are considering alternative ways into education and work and apprenticeships do just that. They offer young people a real job where they get access to training and experience that will give them a real advantage in the job market.”
Simon Perriton the CEO of Just IT Training said: “We believe that apprenticeships are a great beginning to a life time of learning and career progression. It’s a tried and tested process that provides apprentices with a great opportunity to kick-start their tech career and employers a cost-effective and well-qualified IT professional.”