Award-winning IT apprenticeship provider, QA, has today unveiled the UK’s first work-based degree programme for IT apprentices.
These ground-breaking programmes now offer young adults unrivalled progression routes from traineeship right through to degree within the digital sector. Each apprentice receives one-to-one technical skills coaching in the workplace, while the formal taught content is delivered through a blended learning approach of multimedia, practical exercises and intensive workshops.
The programme includes modules based upon QA’s detailed knowledge of subjects such as big data, DevOps, The Internet of Things (IoT), cloud technologies and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
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Ben Pike, Director, QA Apprenticeships said: “While we have been building the IT apprenticeship market, we have noticed the accelerated growth of the UK technology sector has created demand for graduate-level skills within the workplace. Since we already have a high level of employer engagement, we believe our new degree programmes are a compelling offer for businesses as a real alternative to traditional computer science degrees.”
Working in collaboration with The University of Roehampton and The Tech Partnership, QA Apprenticeships has constructed the comprehensive BSc Digital & Technology Solutions degree that addresses the real needs of today’s technology employers by offering three flexible specialisms:
- Network Engineering
- Software Engineering
- Data Analytics
Bob Clift, Head of Higher Education at the Tech Partnership, said: “The Tech Partnership is pleased to endorse the QA and University of Roehampton Degree Apprenticeship. The programme combines QA’s expertise in apprenticeships, Roehampton’s academic credentials and an innovative nationwide delivery model to give employers a distinctive new option when considering Degree Apprenticeships”
Apprentices from Bath-based systems integrator, IPL, are among the first intake to learn real-world IT skills on the QA apprenticeship degree programme.
Lyn Penfold, Business Services Director at IPL said: “The QA degree apprenticeship is perfect for our business. The programme means we can get highly-capable staff in the workplace quickly, and help them to learn genuine skills that benefit our business. It’s a fantastic way for talented young people to kick-start their careers in this exciting industry.”
IPL’s degree apprentices started their training at the beginning of October. Recognising that business doesn’t operate in ‘term-time’, QA has developed the programmes to offer four start dates in October, January, April and July each year – enabling year-round employment.
Matt Hann, one of IPL’s apprentices, added: “The attraction of the apprenticeship scheme was to combine a recognised degree with real workplace experience. Combining the two can be challenging, as you’re doing a full time job alongside study, but it’s incredibly rewarding and I’ve learned a huge amount from being immersed in a workplace environment every day.”
To help plug the UK technology skills gap, the government announced degree apprenticeships earlier this year as a way of bringing together the best of higher and vocational education. Under the new model, the government funds most of the training, which is topped up by employers, who are eligible for performance-based rewards throughout the programme.
QA Apprenticeships is a multi-award winning provider of IT and business services apprenticeships, rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and winner of Microsoft Worldwide Learning Partner of the Year 2015.
In the last five years QA Apprenticeships has kick started over 5,000 careers, and the company plans to reach the milestone of 10,000 by summer 2016.