UKFast Invests In Apprenticeship Programme

UKFast has created a raft of new places on its popular IT and software development apprenticeship programmes, with applications for the IT scheme opening this week.

Since the launch of UKFast’s apprenticeship scheme in 2013, more than 50 apprentices have joined the tech firm on a two-year programme, developed and delivered by on-site teachers who’ve recently made the transition from public sector schools to UKFast’s classroom.

The new intake comes exactly 12 months after the collapse of Bright Future saw CEO Lawrence Jones step in to offer support and training to 180 apprentices left unemployed.

CEO Lawrence Jones said: “We’re finding that the quality of those who graduate from the scheme is so high that they are ready to make a huge impact in the business straight away. Our apprentices are now running major projects and managing large parts of our network.

“I am inspired by the way these young people are so motivated to get on the career ladder at such an early stage.
“Offering our apprentices a job after they complete the programme with us makes perfect business sense. Why would we invest all this time and effort into training digital superstars without giving them the opportunity to join our team once they complete the programme?”

Director of People Development at UKFast, Arlene Bulfin, explained that technical apprentices can now be found in every part of the business, from research and development to data centres.

She said: “These young people surpassed all our expectations since we started the programme. We didn’t expect them to make quite such a massive contribution to the success of our business so quickly.

“Now we’ve seen the huge benefits these apprenticeships offer both the apprentices and the business, it would be crazy not to extend the programme further. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious and we see the benefits as our more experienced team members step up to support the apprentices in their development.”

April this year sees the introduction of the long-awaited apprenticeship levy, as part of the Government’s drive to train three million new apprentices by 2020.

The levy requires larger employers to contribute a percentage of their annual pay bill, but this can be offset against investment in apprenticeships.

Bulfin said: “The levy means a change in the apprenticeship landscape, but this doesn’t change our existing commitment to delivering apprenticeships that truly value everyone involved.

“UKFast is leading the way in digital education and our experience means we have created an infrastructure for training and development that works for young people starting a career in tech. No one else does apprenticeships quite like we do.”

Applications for level-3 IT apprenticeships open this week, with applications for level-4 software development opening in the spring.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine