Consulting firm Accenture has decided to expand its Technology Apprenticeship programme in Newcastle to London, Warwick and Newbury, increasing its number of apprentices to 100 in the UK. A move that, according to Managing Director of Accenture Tracey Harrison, is needed with the rapid expanding IT sector and digital skills shortages.
Technology Apprenticeship programme
In 2012, Accenture UK launched its Technology Apprenticeship programme in Newcastle, a programme that provides apprentices with a paid on-the-job IT training. The programme allows apprentices to develop expert skills in digital, web and cloud computing. In addition, they will gain expertise in business analysis and application, as well as in project management and infrastructure development. During the training, the apprentices will work towards a Higher Apprenticeship for IT, a Level 4 BTEC Diploma, and a Foundation Degree in a time span of three years. The programme consists of a four-week introduction to get to know the company, followed by the first assignments. The first year is used to experience various parts of the organisation, and in the second and third year, the apprentices will specialise in one particular technology. Following a successful completion of the programme, the apprentices may be offered permanent roles at the consulting firm.
Just recently, Accenture decided to expand its Apprenticeship programme to its offices in London, Warwick and Newbury. In the past two months, 40 new apprentices have joined the three locations, adding up to a total of 100 apprentices for Accenture UK. Commenting on the expansion of the program, Tracey Harrison, Managing Director of Accenture, says: “With the IT sector’s rapid expansion and the current technology and digital skills shortages, it is essential that businesses invest in young people through apprenticeships, internships and vocational training. What we looked for in these new recruits was a real aptitude for technology and good team-working abilities. They will join our highly skilled workforce and will receive quality training and the opportunity to work on a variety of exciting and challenging client projects during their time with us.”
Accenture’s Apprenticeship is, in addition to going to University, seen as a route to a successful career by Skills and Equalities Minister Nick Boles: “Support from leading companies like Accenture means that it is fast becoming the norm for young people to choose either university or an apprenticeship as a route to a great career. I would encourage other companies to follow Accenture in recognising the value apprentices add to their businesses in helping them to grow and develop a highly skilled workforce. As this scheme demonstrates, there really has never been a better time to become an apprentice.”
Other professional services firms are also hiring apprentices and school leavers, and just last month, KPMG decided to expand its school leaver work experience programme, and almost tripled its intake of school-leavers from 25 last year to 71 this year.