From September, employers of all sizes will be able to access funded training to ‘grow their own’ high-level tech and digital staff of the future.
The programme is also open to current employees seeking to sharpen their ICT skills and gain a full honours degree alongside their employment, while paying no student fees and earning a wage throughout.
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Business School is one of eight universities selected nationally to deliver the new Degree Apprenticeship in Technology Solutions. The government is providing two thirds of the funding for training the degree apprentices.
Other universities working with employers to shape and provide the degrees include: Aston, Exeter, Greenwich, Loughborough, University College London, University of the West of England and Winchester.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: This is the latest example of government working in partnership with academia and industry to ensure that education and training routes are providing the skills which employers need now and in the future.’
Liz Gorb, Enterprise Fellow at MMU Centre for Enterprise, said: ‘The aim is to integrate academic learning at degree level with work-based training. Students earn while they learn and come away with skills that are directly relevant to employers, who have an opportunity to instil their own business culture and working style from an early stage.
‘The core content of the degree includes technological support, software development, database management, security and business organisation, but the integrated learning approach of workplace training and assessment makes the course highly flexible to employer demands – whatever the size or sector of the organisation.’
Leading UK companies have already committed to take on digital apprentices, including: Accenture, BT, Capgemini, Ford, Fujitsu, GlaxoSmithKline, HM Revenue and Customs, Hewlett Packard, IBM, John Lewis, Lloyds Banking Group, Network Rail and Tata Consulting Services.
The new degree apprenticeship is launched as latest figures from the Skills Funding Agency show that demand for ICT apprenticeships is outstripping supply – with 10 applicants now chasing each apprenticeship position.