Advanced boosts digital skills development with new apprenticeship fund

Software and services company Advanced has pledged its commitment to introduce 60-70 apprenticeships per year focused on developing digital skills.

Advanced’s apprenticeship fund will be circa £500,000 per annum and the company wants to ensure the technical training focus for apprenticeships will support its regional hub strategy. This aims to attract local talent with high potential to take up new apprenticeship positions as well as ignite the passion for existing employees, in non-technical roles, to make a career move into a technology-focused position.

According to Paul Bason, Director of Digital Innovation at Manchester Metropolitan University, despite the fact that the digital sector in the UK is growing at a faster rate than in any other G20 economy, there are still significant regions that have a dearth of the right skills. Advanced has transformed its business over the last year to commit to significant regional hubs and has found certain areas challenging to find suitable digital talent.

Gordon Wilson, CEO at Advanced, comments: “The lack of up-to-date digital skills represents a significant risk, essentially throttling digital transformation success and threatening to hold back business prosperity. As a leading supplier of technology solutions and services, we have a responsibility to ensure we constantly refresh the skills within our workforce. Using the apprenticeship levy to focus on precisely this will not only support our goals but will also deliver digital career opportunities around our regional hubs.”

Advanced is already a part of the West Midlands digital community supporting its flagship regional hub at the Mailbox in Birmingham and is looking to take an active role in the development of the Northern Powerhouse, which already has an active community looking to address the North-South divide around technical skills. It is holding a roundtable debate with prominent leaders from across the North West region on 24th March to debate how businesses, academics and the Government can work together to address these very issues.

Advanced’s technical training of apprentices will be delivered by QA Training and will commence from May 2017.

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