The government is not only committed to increasing the number of Apprenticeships but also their quality, FE Minister John Hayes said as he attended the launch of IBM’s first programme for apprentices in London.
According to Mr Hayes, the government recognises that skills training must keep up with the fast pace of technological change.
“That’s why the government is not just expanding the apprenticeships programme by investing an additional £250 million, but also improving the scope and quality of apprenticeships so they deliver the more advanced learning and practical experience that firms like IBM demand,” he said.
The re-shaping of Apprenticeship programmes is at the heart of the government’s skills strategy and it is working with employers, through Sector Skills Councils and other representative bodies, to ensure that all frameworks meet the needs of the UK’s economy.
By 2014-15, the government will increase the number of adult Apprenticeships available by up to 75,000 – leading to in excess of 200,000 starts a year – so that more learners achieve Advanced Apprenticeships and deliver the technician level skills that a modern, dynamic industrial economy needs.
Meeting the IBM apprentices in London, Mr Hayes said: “IBM’s new apprentices will gain invaluable skills that will help them take forward their own careers in the ICT sector. And every firm that makes this investment in its people will help ensure its future prosperity as well as that of the wider economy.”
“IT apprenticeships are a great way of going straight from school into a fast-paced and rewarding sector with excellent career prospects.”
The IBM Apprenticeship scheme
Launched in collaboration with Sector Skills Council e-skills, IBM’s Apprenticeship scheme is the first such programme in the UK aimed at school leavers.
The scheme will recruit 15-20 new apprentices based across the UK, including in Farnborough, Greenock, Leeds, Manchester, London and Hursley, with eight GCSEs plus two ‘A’ levels students who will receive two year’s training as IT specialists.
The apprentices will be responsible for developing proof of concepts, designing, building, testing and implementing systems to solve IBM’s clients’ business and IT problems, and will then be offered permanent employment.
The scheme also aims to give apprentices the opportunity to work towards achieving the Advanced Apprenticeship for IT Professionals qualification, which consists of OCR Level 3 Diploma in ICT Professional Competence and OCR Level 3 Certificate in ICT Systems and Principles.
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