Could Apprenticeships Fill Tech Skills Gap For Employers?
In December 2015 research by Empirica predicted that although there is likely to be a large shortage of trained candidates for digital jobs in 2020, it may not be as large as had previously been thought.
New research by Tech Partnership recently highlighted in a Computer Weekly article suggests that three quarters of employers believe that this skills gap could be closed by taking on digital and technology apprentices. One of the current challenges to implementing this potential solution however is that half of UK employers do not currently run apprenticeship schemes.
The Tech Partnership research shows that 33% of employers aren’t offering apprenticeships because they say that they don’t currently have a suitable role for an apprentice in their company.
Government Levy + Employer Partnership to Help
One idea from the government to help the creation of the target figure of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 has been the introduction of a levy whereby employers with a wage bill in excess of £3m will be subject to a 0.5% payroll levy to fund apprenticeships through an e-voucher system. The levy is thought to be likely to affect many tech firms because salaries tend to be higher than the national average.
Employers can also get help an advice about digital and technology apprenticeships from Tech Partnership, a network of around 800 employers, of all sizes and industry sectors, who collaborate to create the skills to accelerate the growth of the digital economy.
What Does This Mean For Businesses?
At present it seems that businesses lack many of the in-house skills, the knowledge, and the confidence to make the most of the technology and digital opportunities available, and businesses need to seek help now in developing plans to meet their own tech / digital skills gap to remain competitive.