BT and IT skills body embark on apprentice push

NITP, the training provider for the National Skills Academy for IT, has teamed up with telco BT to create 100 new apprentice jobs for young adults.

Eighty per cent of these apprenticeships are expected to be with SMB employers.

Tech employment body E-Skills UK is responsible for managing the National Skills Academy for IT.

Karen Price, CEO of E-Skills UK, said the partnership should ensure participants in the scheme receive high quality training that is relevant to market needs.

"Ensuring that apprenticeship training is high vital to increasing their uptake, particularly among SMBs," said Price.

"That's exactly what we're doing through this partnership and the number of jobs we've created highlights the effectiveness of this approach," she continued.

The apprentices will be provided training that is quality assured by BT and delivered by NITP at its further education colleges in Bedford, Liverpool, Nottingham, Oxford, Portsmouth, Tamworth, St Albans and Walsall.

In addition to the 100 new apprenticeships, NITP and BT have also created a total of 204 apprenticeships since October 2012.

All of the apprentices will get to take part in a new programme called the IT Gold Standard Apprenticeship. This is designed to help them integrate into the workplace and gain the required technical and professional skills they need.

The IT Gold Standard Apprenticeship requires apprentices to work towards clearly defined, in-demand job roles and trial a personal development experience, consisting of a 'virtual campus' website and employer- supported events.

Employers can also benefit from recruiting apprentices through the scheme, with SMBs receiving a 1,500 government grant for taking part.

"Apprenticeships give organisations the opportunity to grow their own IT talent simply and cost-effectively, while for young people, they offer a great first step on the career ladder and the chance to work hard, gain valuable qualifications and earn a wage," said Peter Marples, director of NITP.

"As such, we're proud to be bucking the trend and creating more of them." he added.