New qualifications launched to meet UK demand for digital skills

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Written by Seun Robert-Edomi on 26 November 2014 in News
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The first Degree Apprenticeships are to be launched in the digital sector, and are expected to suit people embarking on careers ranging from business analysis to software development and technology consultancy. The new programme includes a fully-integrated degree testing both academic learning and on-the-job practical training

New government and industry-backed digital qualifications will provide the skills for a wide range of digital jobs, helping to fill the one million vacancies expected in the digital sector in the next decade.

The Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey will announce today that Degree Apprenticeships will allow young people to complete a full honours degree alongside their employment while paying no student fees and earning a wage throughout.

The first Degree Apprenticeships are to be launched in the digital sector, and are expected to suit people embarking on careers ranging from business analysis to software development and technology consultancy. The new programme includes a fully-integrated degree testing both academic learning and on-the-job practical training, and has been co-created by leading tech employers and top universities.

Ed Vaizey will also announce details of new industry-designed short courses to enhance digital skills across the workforce. The short courses will provide intensive training, with content that keeps pace with employers’ immediate needs and changing technologies, and will be delivered flexibly to suit learners’ needs. The new industry-accredited standard will give small businesses up and down the country the confidence to know that they can hire digital professionals with the skills they need.

Speaking at the launch of the Tech Partnership at IBM, Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey, said:

“These new digital qualifications are 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.”

A number of employers involved in the Tech Partnership, a group of firms working together to create the skills and jobs the digital industry needs, have already committed to offering Degree Apprenticeships. These include Accenture, BT, Capgemini, CGI, Ford, Fujitsu, GlaxoSmithKline, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Hewlett Packard, IBM, John Lewis, Lloyds Banking Group, Network Rail and Tata Consulting Services. Universities including Aston, Exeter, Greenwich, Loughborough, Manchester Metropolitan, University College London, University of the West of England and Winchester will be supporting the courses and are working with employers to offer these degrees.

Tech Partnership board member and Capgemini UK chairman, Christine Hodgson, said: “The government’s support for this new route into employment will enable young people to build the academic and practical skills needed for success in the tech sector and will help create the talent needed to boost the digital economy.”

Richard Pettinger, director, BSc/MSci Information Management for Business at University College London, added: “We are delighted to be collaborating with employers and the government to create the new Degree Apprenticeships in technology solutions to help increase the flow of skills into the tech industry. These Degree Apprenticeship courses will open a new route for young people to build a career in technology with the support of government funding.”

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