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First 100 apprentices hired in new IT industry scheme

National Skills Academy shows the way for SMEs to boost skills

A new partnership between the National Skills Academy for IT, training provider NITP and BT has created 100 new IT apprentice jobs for young people with SMEs. A further 450 jobs are planned for 2013.

The 100 apprentices will benefit from training supported by BT, which will be delivered by NITP at their local further education colleges in Liverpool, Tamworth, Oxford, Nottingham and St Albans.

The 100 new recruits will get to pilot the IT Gold Standard Apprenticeship, a new programme which is being designed to help apprentices integrate into the workplace and gain technical and professional skills more quickly.

The apprentices will work towards "clearly defined, in-demand job roles" and trial a "personal development experience", comprising a "virtual campus" website and employer-supported events, said the training partners.

Karen Price, e-skills UK CEO, said, "Through this new partnership 100 new jobs have been created for young people in IT roles that are in high demand among employers.

"Making the recruitment of apprentices by smaller organisations an easier and more attractive option is helping them develop the skilled workforce needed to drive their businesses forward."

A further 450 new apprenticeship roles are planned for 2013. These will be in the five current locations, plus Bedford, Portsmouth and Walsall initially, followed by Birmingham and Milton Keynes later in the year.

Employers can visit here for further information about recruiting an apprentice through the partnership.

The National Skills Academy for IT is led by e-skills UK, the sector skills council for business and IT.

Outsourcer and consultant Accenture recently started a new IT apprenticeship programme in the north east. Accenture is sponsoring 40 three-year apprenticeships over the next 12 months, and hopes to extend the programme in future years.

Accenture outsourcing rival Capgemini UK also more than doubled its intake of IT apprentices in 2012 to just over 200, and plans a further increase in 2013.

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