Government to launch degree apprenticeships

The Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey announced a new programme of “Degree Apprenticeships“, to an audience of digital business leaders at the Tech Partnership launch event at IBM on Wednesday .

The scheme 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 of the new apprenticeships are to be focused on the digital sector to target those wishing to pursue careers in areas such as business analysis, software development and technology consultancy.

The new apprenticeships will be assessed both through university-style academic assessment and an on-the-job review, which has been structured in collaboration with industry leading employers and some of the country’s top universities.

Speaking at the launch of the Tech Partnership at IBM, Mr Vaizey said that the programme would “ensure that education and training routes are providing the skills which employers need now and in the future.”

A number of employers 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 in partnership with the scheme, to support the courses and work with employers to offer these degrees, include Aston, Exeter, Greenwich, Loughborough, Manchester Metropolitan, University College London, University of the West of England and Winchester.

Tech Partnership board member and Capgemini UK Chairman, Christine Hodgson, said the scheme 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 said, “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.”