From education to employment

NAW: Apprenticeships are not ‘one size fits all’

Suzy discusses National Apprenticeship Week and how Capgemini is creating apprenticeships for all ages and backgrounds to help bridge the digital skills gap in the tech industry

The transition to a new career can be a daunting task. Whether it is an individual who has finished education, compulsory or further, or someone who might be returning to the workplace after a time out or making a career change, skills within the industry are always evolving and employers are constantly on the lookout for attributes that demonstrate a passion and interest in technology and gaining digital skills.

Not every individual has access to obtaining experience within their desired fields before applying for their dream full time position. Apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to blend learning and the world at work.  

Despite the growing popularity of apprenticeships, many are unaware of its impact on communities, local businesses, and regional economies including misperceptions on who and how individuals can access apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships pave the way for bridging the digital skills gap

While new apprentices today are more digitally savvy, having grown up with digital apps and surrounded by social media, many still benefit from gaining the necessary digital skills to thrive in a technological role. There are many free courses and online communities that can provide development of technical skills and further interest in areas such as programming and coding. Taking advantage of these no cost areas of development also demonstrates an interest and passion for technology that employers will be keen to see.

At Capgemini, we believe apprenticeships and its benefits of hands-on industry experience is key to bridging the digital skills gap. Over the past 10 years, we’ve supported over 1,200 apprenticeships across a range of roles and businesses and heard and seen how this has impacted future careers in the tech industry.  

The following apprentices are currently enrolled within our apprenticeship programmes and their experiences serve as a testament to how these programmes promote confidence for all individuals to continue their future careers in technology.

Lisa Rovira – Age and gender show no boundaries

At the age of 38, Lisa Rovira isn’t your average school or university leaver, looking to build workplace experience. She wanted to break the stereotype that apprenticeships are only for those leaving education and took a leap when she found the apprenticeship scheme. Lisa had no prior technology experience before applying to Capgemini’s cloud & custom applications apprenticeship scheme, but always had a keen interest in IT.

Lisa felt that an apprenticeship would give her the opportunity to put her theoretical skills into hands-on experience very early on in her apprenticeship alongside earning a salary simultaneously. By having financial stability and valuable practical skills from day one, Lisa believes she has a bright future in the tech industry and is ready and confident for what new technologies the future has waiting for her. She hopes she can be a role model for older women who want to pursue a life-changing career for themselves in a traditionally very male driven industry.

Jay Johal – The battle between university and apprenticeships 

With not much direction from his school on future opportunities during sixth form and pressure to attend university from parents, Jay Johal was unclear what path he wanted to take. That was until a few internet searches uncovered a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship at Capgemini that seemed like a happy medium.

As someone who had great interest in economics and business in school, Jay’s choice to opt for a degree apprenticeship stemmed from his desire to gain practical experience while learning in a non-traditional format. While at the time Jay’s mum wasn’t aware of the benefits apprenticeships could have on her son’s future, Jay believed that an apprenticeship allowed junior talent to prioritise their self-growth and skills, as well not having to compromise on the university experience by working and earning at the same time.

Even though Jay is in the middle of his apprenticeship, he has a clear focus on his future of becoming a project manager within his sector. Not to mention, Jay’s mum is beyond impressed and regularly promotes her son’s positive experience to her friends.

Ellie Mills – Hands on engagement vs classroom learning

In the middle of completing her A Levels, Ellie Mills knew she wanted to do an apprenticeship despite her school urging her to fill out a university application. She already felt unmotivated and uninspired by learning in a classroom, and the thought of a lack of engagement alongside high costs was something she couldn’t justify. However, overcoming the fear of doing something different to the rest of her childhood friends was a scary thought. Fast forward to today, having the courage and confidence to take a different route was the best thing Ellie has done to date.

Ellie works alongside a huge range of clients and projects as a Junior Delivery Manager. She’s built relationships with experienced and talented professionals and all whilst managing responsibilities that wouldn’t have been available to her until she would have graduated from university. The ongoing support alongside earning a debt-free degree and competitive salary means that Ellie is looking forward to pushing towards her goals of becoming a project manager in the tech industry.


National Apprenticeship Week serves as an important calendar moment to highlight the positive impact of apprenticeships on individuals and society more broadly. Having a moment every year where the media can help raise the profile of apprenticeship programmes and enable employers to promote the benefits of such schemes can inspire people from a range of backgrounds to apply.

But understanding an apprenticeship isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach will help organisations to open opportunities to a broader range of talent, enabling diversity of thought and experience and the chance to work with students who are passionate about learning and developing their skills.

By Suzy Style, UK Head of Early Careers Talent Acquisition at Capgemini

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