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'Degree apprenticeships' launched to plug the digital skills gap

New "degree apprenticeships" will be launched to help young people gain a full degree while working with no tuition fees, the government will announce today.

The first of the new qualifications will be available in the digital sector to help provide the skills for a wide range of careers and to help fill the estimated 1 million digital job vacancies over the next decade.

The fully-integrated degrees, which will test both academic learning and on-the-job practical training, have been co-created by leading technology companies and top universities.

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey will also announce details of new industry-designed short courses to enhance digital skills across the workforce.

These will have regularly-updated content and provide intensive, flexibly-delivered training.

The government said the new industry-accredited standard will give small businesses the confidence to hire digital professionals with the skills they need.

Speaking at the launch of the Tech Partnership at IBM this evening, Mr Vaizey will say: “These new digital qualifications are the latest example of government working in partnership with academia and industry to ensure that education and training routes are providing the skills which employers need now and in the future.”

Tech Partnership board member Christine Hodgson said: “The government’s support for this new route into employment will enable young people to build the academic and practical skills needed for success in the tech sector and will help create the talent needed to boost the digital economy.”

A number of employers involved in the Tech Partnership, a group of firms working together to create the skills and jobs the digital industry needs, have already committed to offering degree apprenticeships.

These include BT, Ford, Fujitsu, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Hewlett Packard, IBM, John Lewis and Lloyds Banking Group.


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