Digital consultancy BJSS plans to double its intake of apprentices in 2018

01 May 2018 Authored by Consultancy.uk

Consulting firm BJSS has expanded its Apprenticeship Programme for 2018. The group announced it plans to take in twice as many apprentices than last year, after 9 in every 10 previous participants have gone on to take permanent full-time positions in the company.

Should British businesses attain even average levels of social mobility, numerous reports have found that the economy would be boosted by around £170 billion in total, or £2,620 per person each year. Despite the huge economic boost this could deliver, however, research by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission found that 70% of all jobs in the professional services sector went to those that had attended the most prestigious and selective schools in the country, a group that make up between just 4% and 7% of the population as a whole.

While movement in some sectors is slow, change is on the horizon, however, as the Social Mobility Index, run in partnership with the City of London Corporation, recently found that an increasing number of employers set mobility targets. While 61% of all successful applicants to companies for top jobs still attended one of the country’s 24 most selective universities, suggesting that the economy was still slow to adopt greater standards of social mobility, the consulting industry has been found to be one of the markets most rapidly adapting to foster employees from less privileged backgrounds – particularly as a narrowing talent pool has led professional services firms to seek staff from less traditional avenues.

Most recently this has seen a number of firms turn to trainee and apprenticeship programmes to boost intake from different walks of life. Last year BDO attracted some 285 school leavers and new graduates from less ‘prestigious’ learning institutions, while Mazars also added 195 trainees as the firm also vied to boost social mobility.

James DeMaine, Glynn Robinson - bjss

BJSS

Founded in 1993 and with offices in London, New York, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, BJSS employs over 1,000 technologists in the UK. As the firm looks to grow its presence across the nation, having just expanded into a new Glaswegian office, consultancy BJSS introduced its own Apprenticeship Programme in 2016, and thanks to its success, the firm has decided to double its intake in 2018. BJSS has been determined to show a university education is not necessarily a prerequisite to enjoying a career in digital technology and consultancy, while opening new options up for its recruitment team to hire from a more diverse talent pool. Over the two years since its inception, the Apprenticeship Programme has seen 90% of participants go on to occupy full-time roles at BJSS.

Fostering new talent

According to BJSS, a prime example of this is James Demaine, a 20-year-old apprentice that joined BJSS in 2017 directly from Craven College Sixth Form, in Skipton, North Yorkshire. Rather than heading to university like many of his peers, Demaine opted for an apprenticeship, preferring to develop soft skills via direct experience rather than through tertiary education. Since beginning his apprenticeship in software testing with BJSS, Demaine has already worked on some of the company’s biggest projects including deliveries for the NHS.

Commenting on his experience at the firm, Demaine said, “Having access to some of the most experienced people in the industry has been invaluable to my career. Being able to work on real projects from the start allows you to get that practical experience that you just don’t get from a university. I would advise everybody considering an apprenticeship to follow their passions and they will be rewarded.”

Glynn Robinson, Managing Director at BJSS, said “With the digital landscape set to become an even bigger part of Britain’s economy over the next few years, technology organisations such as BJSS have a role to play in ensuring that as many young people as possible are equipped to pursue careers in this space. The BJSS apprenticeship programme allows them to experience the job first hand and, in conjunction with our internal BJSS:Academy learning and development channel, develop the skills they need for a high-quality and rewarding career.”

BJSS recently won a Queen's Awards for Enterprise. The T Consultancy was recognised in the Innovation category for its software delivery approach – Enterprise Agile. The system is based on BJSS’ software delivery experience, and has delivered ambitious IT transformation programmes in challenging, deadline-sensitive environments, such as the NHS, where it was used for the  re-engineering of the NHS legacy Spine national healthcare infrastructure. Among other consulting sector winners at the awards were Boyd Consultants, DCA Design International, Mason Advisory, Specialist Marine Consultants and Grant Thornton.

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