Memset launches apprenticeship scheme to combat IT skills shortage

News 4 May, 2012

New initiative is designed to increase cloud-savvy skills base.

Memset has launched an apprenticeship scheme aimed at alleviating the dearth of skills around datacentres and cloud computing.

It said it needed to take the steps as universities “just don’t seem to be teaching the right skills.”

“There are hardly any courses that teach Python programming or Linux systems administration despite the fact that they are becoming the tools of choice for the globally-leading ICT companies,” said Memset managing director Kate Craig-Wood.

“We’re faced with having to sift through a lot of graduates who are of little use to us, who have often been encouraged to take 'business' or 'entrepreneurship' modules rather than practically applicable skills that are useful to an employer!”

She added that by getting apprentices that haven’t gone to university meant that the company could “equip them with the relevant skills that we need, and start them off in the right direction for a fulfilling career in the ICT industry.”

Under Memset’s Apprenticeship scheme, for one week in every month the new apprentice will attend a comprehensive course in systems administration at a Microsoft training centre. The other three weeks of the month will be spent at Memset, working alongside the junior and senior systems administrators and putting new skills into practice. They will also have the opportunity to visit Memset's data centres and assist with server rack wiring and maintenance.

Craig-Wood added that the apprenticeship scheme would pay the youngsters £200-£300 per week, more than the government’s recommended rate of £100 per week. Not only would they be learning Microsoft skills but ones in Linux as well as datacentre skills. She said the apprenticeships would “very likely lead to a full-time job” for outstanding individuals.