UKFast is creating 100 new apprenticeship roles within its IT, software development and customer service programmes, in a bid to supercharge the region’s tech talent pool.
The firm’s scheme has seen more than 80 apprentices graduate in the last three years, with 18% of the tech giant’s workforce being current or former apprentices.
Four full-time teachers are employed to run the programme, alongside an extensive continuous professional development schedule for the firm’s 350-strong team.
UKFast founder and CEO Lawrence Jones MBE is now committing to scaling the apprenticeship programme to meet the growing need for programmers and software developers, both within his business and within the wider tech community.
An event hosted by UKFast during National Apprenticeship Week (March 4th) will see A Level and GCSE students from across Greater Manchester with an interest in technology given the opportunity to acquire valuable career advice on apprenticeships, whilst gaining a behind-the-scenes insight into life at a cutting-edge technology business.
UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said: “Our apprentices develop at an amazing rate and they’re truly invaluable to our workforce. We’re always looking for amazing candidates for our apprenticeships and this year we have the capacity to take on up to 100.
“The skills gap is probably the biggest barrier to continued growth across the tech sector, which is why it makes perfect sense to give young people the opportunity to get hands on with cutting-edge technology as soon as they finish their GCSEs or A Levels.
“There’s sometimes still a stigma attached to apprenticeships, with students pushed towards university, but we see the momentum and confidence these young people build up during their apprenticeship. They’re often way ahead of graduates after three years in the right kind of environment.
“We’ve created a dedicated learning space and invested a huge amount into the young people on our apprenticeship scheme. They deserve the very best start in life and that’s exactly what we give them.”
UKFast last year joined the government’s Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP), enabling it to train apprentices of behalf of other businesses.
UKFast’s director of training and education Aaron Saxton said: “The bespoke curriculum we’ve built is in line with the digital industry and bleeding-edge business, and is equipped with all the right academic tools to challenge and develop these young people to be the leading digital engineers in the UK.”