Vodafone UK launches initiatives to expand digital skills

The new mentoring and education programmes combine study and hands-on training in a bid to better face the digital future

Vodafone has announced new education and mentoring programmes developed for university students, digital entrepreneurs and company employees interested in a digital career.

Adam Parsons, HR Director at Vodafone UK, said: “Digital sectors like artificial intelligence, cloud services and the Internet of Things represent exciting opportunities for the UK economy. The education and mentoring programmes we have created will help us to make the most of these opportunities.”

Vodafone Digital Degree

The Vodafone Digital Degree is a partnership with the University of Birmingham, combining a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science with a technology apprenticeship at Vodafone.

16 Digital Degree Apprentices have been accepted into the programme and will attend the University full-time. During their four-year study period, students will receive a salary. There is a 10 week summer placement in the first year and a 12 month industrial placement in the third, with a guaranteed role in one of Vodafone’s digital teams upon graduating in 2022.

Professor Andy Schofield, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, said: “We believe that in order to prepare our students for a 21st century workplace, it is essential to build their digital skills and give them the best possible opportunities in which to use them. The four-year programme we are launching with Vodafone will provide our students with both the digital education and critical hands-on training they will need to succeed in a digital future.”

“Digital sectors like artificial intelligence, cloud services and the Internet of Things represent exciting opportunities for the UK economy.” 

Bright Sparks

To “support digital entrepreneurs and foster a culture of innovation”, Vodafone is launching Bright Sparks. A mentoring programme for digital start-ups, Bright Sparks was developed in collaboration with Oxford University Innovation, an organisation set up to help University staff and students apply their expertise and research for wider social and economic benefit.

Oxford University Innovation selected 10 digital start-ups to participate in Bright Sparks, each of which will have a Vodafone mentor to support early stage digital innovations, providing specialist skills and commercial guidance.

Code Ready

Frontline employees in Vodafone retail stores and contact centres who would like to make the transition to a digital career can learn to code with Code Ready, a new digital skills programme. Vodafone is partnering with Makers to deliver the programme and help employees reskill.

Code Ready is fully funded, which means Vodafone employees won’t have to pay to retrain. Instead, says the company, they will learn all the skills they need to become a developer and secure a new Vodafone job at the end of the course.

Code Ready has a planned intake of 20-30 people, in Manchester, in 2019.