Small Business Scheme with Microsoft
In England, small and medium-sized businesses employ 64% of the country's IT and Telecoms professionals. However, over the past three years, they have employed only 3% of IT Apprentices. Yet, evidence shows that apprentices in the IT sector rapidly produce return on investment after just a year.
Digital 20/20 is working with e-Skills, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology, to increase the take-up of IT Apprenticeships by the region's small businesses. Activity is currently focused on rolling out a new model for IT Apprenticeships developed by e-Skills with Microsoft and QA Training. To be eligible you just need to be registered on the Microsoft Partner website.
The Microsoft Advanced Apprenticeship has three key advantages:
- Employers are helped to recruit suitable apprentices but still choose
- Induction into the business is supported so the new apprentices are easier to manage
- Apprentices gain industry and business qualifications making them valuable employees
This mix of work-based learning and programme-led apprenticeship is unique. It has been designed to offer employers and apprentices a fast track into productive employment whilst ensuring all of the necessary technical and business skills are learned. Key facts are:
- The apprenticeship lasts 10 months
- Apprentices receive a fair but affordable wage – currently £100 a week
- Training is funded and supported
- Training includes industry qualifications
- Training is geared to business needs such as communication skills and customer service
Upon completion, your apprentice will be qualified with:
- Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist (MCTS)
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
- CompTIA A+ & N+
- City & Guilds Diploma and Certificate
- Essential Skills for Apprentices
- Business & IT Sales Certificate
The Microsoft Partner scheme is operating in Leeds. A cohort started in May 2010 and is progressing well. A further cohort has just been recruited starting 4th October 2010. A further cohort is planned for February.
For more information:
Software Development Scheme with SSS
The increase in out-sourcing and off-shoring has reduced the number of entry level positions in the IT industry in the UK, with the resultant loss of knowledge and specialist skills. There is an urgent need to create the next generation of developers and, longer term, the project/team leaders and IT managers of the future.
Strategic Systems Solutions (SSS) in Leeds has developed a new training model to address this issue. SSS is a global IT consultancy focused on the Financial Services sector, with offices across the UK and in the US, China, Singapore and the Philippines. The company is responsible for the development, maintenance, testing and support of computer systems for the Financial Services Sector, including some of the world’s leading investment banks.
SSS in partnership with Software AG is working with e-Skills, the Sector Skills Council for IT, and Leeds City College to offer an award winning Advanced IT Apprenticeship. The first intake was in 2008. A second intake has just started in September 2010. The Apprenticeship lasts two years, with six months of up-front training covering:
- Specific technical skills – languages, databases, tools and utilities
- IT Development Lifecycle – from analysis to support
- Relevant business knowledge – investment banking
- Professional skills – communication, client service, time management and many more
In addition, they undergo regular assessment and attend Leeds City College one day a week to complete the 'academic' requirements of the BTEC qualification. The programme also includes industry standard qualifications, in particular the Mainframe Technical Professional certification sponsored by BCS and IBM.
In the last five months, Apprentices are placed in paid client roles to gain valuable work experience and develop their skills in the real world.
For more information:
Overview on the SSS site: http://www.sssworldwide.com/en/careers/apprentices.asp
Detailed information for Apprentices on the SSS site: http://www.sssworldwide.com/downloads/160-003.pdf
Overview on the Software AG site, including feedback from Sarah, one of the Apprentices: http://www.softwareag.com/uk/customers/ets_newsletter/apprentice.asp
Advanced Apprenticeships in Large IT Employers
The following schemes are operating in Yorkshire & Humber:
Visit the BT Apprenticeships website for more information
Cable & Wireless
Visit www.becomegr8.co.uk for more information
Visit the O2 website for more information
The aim of the Higher Apprenticeship is to raise the skill levels of people available to the IT industry to degree level.
If you are interested in delivering the Higher Apprenticeship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The guide for implementing IT Professional Higher Apprenticeships provides background, case studies and practical advice for employers and educators and is available from e-Skills:
Higher Apprenticeship Partners in Yorkshire & Humber are:
Leeds Metropolitan University – Leeds College of Technology
Contact: Terry Fennell T.Fennell@leedscollege.ac.uk