Minister approves new technology apprenticeships developed by employers through e-skills UK

Posted on: 05/03/14

tech womanMatthew Hancock, Minister of State for Skills & Enterprise has approved rigorous new standards for two technology apprenticeships, developed by employers as part of the Government’s Trailblazer initiative.

The announcement came from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the second day of National Apprenticeship Week.

The Minister said: "We want to see Apprenticeships become the new norm for all ambitious young people, and employers who are dedicated to growing their own talent and increasing the skills base of the nation. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved this trailblazer for their commitment to Apprenticeships and Traineeships."

The new standards have been developed for Software Developer and Network Engineer apprenticeships by a collaboration of employers of technology professionals including Accenture, BT, Capgemini, Cisco, IBM, John Lewis, Microsoft, and The Test Factory, supported by employer body e-skills UK. The cross-sector collaboration and consultation process has been driven by a desire from employers to strengthen the apprenticeship system to ensure that qualifications are rigorous, high quality, and relevant to all employers from small to large.

There has been a dramatic increase in the uptake of IT apprenticeships in recent times. The growing popularity of technology apprenticeships is important because research shows that employment in the technology sector is expected to grow nearly five times faster than the UK average. Over half a million new entrants are required to fill IT professional job roles in the UK over the next five years.

Jez Brooks, Professional Development Manager at IBM said: "Employers have been united by the desire to work together to transform the future of apprenticeships. I’m delighted that the outcome has been met with a positive response from the Minister. We believe that under the new standards, apprenticeships will be high quality, rigorous, and provide an outstanding opportunity for apprentices to get a solid footing into a rewarding career in technology. Going forward, employers will have confidence that apprenticeship qualifications provide the skills and expertise that is needed for continued business and economic success."

Karen Price OBE, CEO, e-skills UK said: "I am delighted that the Minister has approved the new employer-led technology apprenticeships. It is an endorsement of the commitment and dedication that employers have shown by embracing the opportunity to shape the future of apprenticeships. I am delighted that the Minister recognises the high value that employers place on apprenticeships to develop the highly skilled workforce that the nation needs to thrive."

Access the new Trailblazer apprenticeship standards for Software Developer and Network Engineer (pdf 757kb)

View the outcomes of the trailblazer consultation (pdf 219kb)

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