Digital apprenticeships needed to support Britain’s growth

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More digital apprenticeships are necessary to ensure 134,000 new specialists enter UK’s technology industry every year, new research from Tech Partnership reveals.

The network of employers, collaborating to create the skills for the digital economy, found that two in five companies looking to recruit tech specialists say it is hard to fill vacancies, with 85 percent believing a skills shortage is to blame.

Margaret Sambell, director of strategy on behalf of Tech Partnership, said:

“Graduates have always been a source of new blood into tech careersBut in today’s fast moving environment, employers are also increasingly enthused by apprenticeships as a way to attract and develop new people – and are finding that a rich seam of talent.

“While more and more businesses are introducing apprenticeships, a concerted effort is required across all industries to meet demand, as well as to make sure these apprentices gain the skills they need to actively contribute to Britain’s digital future.”

According to Experian analysis of ONS and Tech Partnership data 1.3 million people now work as tech specialists, an increase of six percent in 2014 alone and around half of the tech vacancies each year, around half are for junior-level roles.

The network are calling for businesses in all sectors to embrace tech apprenticeships as a key weapon in the battle for faster business growth.

In 2015, businesses report that they are twice as likely as before to offer a tech apprenticeship. Candidates are responding: the number of people applying for tech apprenticeships has doubled in the past three years. There are now 14 applicants for every tech apprenticeship vacancy advertised, compared with an average of 9 applicants for apprenticeship vacancies in general.

Margaret Sambell added:

“It’s vital that companies make use of the best and most effective methods to ensure a successful outcome for both employer and apprentice. Employers have been working together through the Tech Partnership to make it easier for companies to take on a tech apprentice with confidence.”

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