Demand For IT Apprenticeships Outpaces Opportunities In U.K. - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Leadership
News
5/31/2013
01:35 PM
50%
50%

Demand For IT Apprenticeships Outpaces Opportunities In U.K.

With 17 applicants for every available IT apprenticeship position in the U.K., government leaders encourage employers to add more opportunities.

Britain needs to figure out a way to get more young people into the workforce. Government stats show almost a million -- 893,000 -- of the Queen's subjects aged 16 to 24 were neither employed nor in school during the last three months of 2012.

An idea that's been getting a lot of attention lately is apprenticeships, which would enable young people (ideally even NEETs, or those who are Not In Education, Employment or Training) to get practical help and a salary while learning a skill or trade that could help them transition smoothly into a real job. Another benefit: the program could address what is seen as an endemic skills crisis by creating apprenticeships in IT.

Problem is, there are not enough such opportunities. According to the latest figures from the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), while advertised ICT (Information and Communication Technology) apprenticeship vacancies jumped by 15% to 1,494 between February and April 2013, the number of applicants increased by 27.6%, to 25,750. (Overall, almost 370,000 apprenticeship applications were submitted online between February and April 2013, a 32% hike over the same period in 2012.)

[ Nesta-sponsored website offers digital creation tools for teens. Read Website Aims To Inspire Digital Makers. ]

The NAS reports that ICT, along with Arts and Media, was one of the most sought-after sectors by apprenticeship seekers, with more than 17 applications for every posted vacancy. That said, ICT was fourth in the top five of apprenticeship applications, trailing Business and Administration, Children & Young People's Workforce (Child care) and Customer Services and ahead of Vehicle Maintenance & Repair.

The government would like to see more activity developing apprenticeships. "Apprenticeships are fast becoming the norm for young people who want to achieve their career goals through an alternative route to university," said skills minister Matthew Hancock. "We want more employers to take advantage of the advice and support available from [NAS] and consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business."

Hancock's team has produced new online guides designed to encourage employers, especially SBMs, take on more apprentices. "For smaller businesses, apprentices help improve productivity while reducing costs," said U.K. business leader Jason Holt, who wrote a study to help bolster apprenticeship programs.

British company owners, including tech firms, are also being offered a state subsidy of £1,500 ($2,300) to help recruitment efforts.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
Gartner Forecast Sees 7.3% Shrinkage in IT Spending for 2020
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/15/2020
Slideshows
10 Ways AI Is Transforming Enterprise Software
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  7/13/2020
Commentary
IT Career Paths You May Not Have Considered
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/30/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
Slideshows
Flash Poll