Government allocates £20m to IT skills gap apprenticeships

The government will work with some of the biggest names in tech including Accenture, BT, CGI, Hewlett Packard and IBM

Skills gap

Some of the biggest names in technology have joined forces with the government to offer IT degree apprenticeships in an attempt to shrink the UK IT skills gap.

The government will contribute 20m to the scheme and will work with companies including Accenture, BT, Capgemini, CGI, Ford, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, IBM, John Lewis and Network Rail to get youngsters focused on careers in the digital sector.

The initiative will allow students to gain degrees while working for a company for a salary, giving them new vocational skills and helping to fund their degree. The government's 20m will go towards financing two thirds of their degree, while the company they're working for will pay the final third.

150 places have been confirmed by the companies involved and will take place at Aston, Exeter, Greenwich, Loughborough, Manchester Metropolitan, University College London, the University of the West of England and Winchester.

The government is inviting other SMBs to come onboard with the scheme in the hope more places will open up. Those who want to sign up to one of the Digital Apprenticeships must apply for the roles advertised by companies involved and students will be selected after a consultation with the universities.

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."

The new Digital Apprenticeships will launch next September and will only be available in England.

The government will also launch a range of short courses funded by another group of tech companies, helping to teach skills such as website development to existing employers working at UK SMBs.

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