Five IT Apprenticeships Bridging the Digital Skills Gap

7 Mins

This guide explores five IT apprenticeships and the digital skills they develop, highlighting the benefits of enrolling your staff on these cutting-edge programmes.

In today’s rapidly-evolving technological landscape, businesses across all industries are facing a significant challenge: the widening digital skills gap. As artificial intelligence, automation, and other emerging technologies continually evolve the way we work and live, the demand for individuals proficient in essential digital skills has only increased. To bridge this gap and nurture a skilled workforce for the future, IT apprenticeships have been developed to provide a vital solution. 

With a focus on talent development and providing practical, hands-on experience, these digital apprenticeships offer a promising pipeline for business leaders to acquire the skilled professionals necessary for success within the sector. As the discrepancy increases between the need for qualified professionals within the sector and the inadequate supply of talent to meet this demand, IT apprenticeships are helping organisations to find skilled candidates, and reskill existing employees. 

This guide will explore five different IT apprenticeships on offer, noting the essential digital skills they help candidates to develop. We’ll also discuss why you might want to find an apprenticeship to enrol your staff on, taking advantage of the government funding available to all businesses. 

If you’re interested in learning more about digital apprenticeships, see our recent article helping your business understand the apprenticeship levy, where our training providers offer expert insights into eligibility for this form of government support.

Five IT Apprenticeships Providing Essential Digital Skills

Digital apprenticeships have emerged as a transformative solution in addressing employers’ specific needs, with programmes combining practical, hands-on training and classroom learning. By typically splitting their time between the workplace and the learning environment on an 80% to 20% split for maximum productivity, IT apprenticeships offer a valuable way to reskill candidates and allow them to work alongside experienced professionals for mentorship and guidance.

Whilst the Apprenticeship Levy is available to all businesses that possess a £3 million or higher annual wage bill, government support means that organisations of all sizes can benefit from a minimum of 95% funding for any apprenticeship programme they plan to enrol their staff on.

In an era of technological upheaval, several essential digital skills have become necessary across all industries, including coding and programming, cybersecurity, technical sales, and data analysis. By training your workforce in these sought-after skills, you can guarantee your competitiveness within the market. 

Whilst the digital skills gap has been a topic of conversation and concern for some time, particularly in light of Brexit, it’s often purely technical roles which receive the most attention. However, as you’ll see, many of the IT apprenticeships we discuss in this list offer a blend of soft skills and hard skills, enabling learners to gain the essential digital skills to improve their sales expertise, collaborate with multidisciplinary teams, or drive product and service innovation. 

1. Information Communication Technician Apprenticeships

One of many level 3 IT apprenticeships aimed at providing professionals with the knowledge and skills that can guarantee success throughout the early stages of a digital career, an Information Communication Technician Apprenticeship is useful for employers looking to keep up with the latest trends, maintain system performance, and enhance their cybersecurity offering. 

With malicious attacks occurring on an organisation every 39 seconds in 2023, business leaders can’t hesitate when it comes to ensuring that their staff possess the essential digital skills to ensure that their vital infrastructure is properly protected. IT apprenticeships such as these are crucial in ensuring the smooth operation of companies as they increasingly rely on technology for their operations. 

As the digital skills gap starts to bite, attracting and retaining staff with expertise in troubleshooting, hardware and software installation, network maintenance, and user support can be difficult. Due to this, employers may want to find an apprenticeship to reskill their existing employees, allowing them to gain a theoretical understanding and practical experience in handling IT-related challenges, and enhancing their problem-solving abilities.

2. IT Technical Sales Apprenticeships

Blending the communication abilities that are crucial to sales—building relationships, negotiating, addressing pain points, and closing—with the essential digital skills that allow your salespeople to properly address questions around the technological product or service you offer, an IT Technical Sales Apprenticeship is an excellent way for business leaders to enhance the skills of their trainees, executives, and junior managers. 

These courses, like many IT apprenticeships, are often tailored to suit employers’ urgent needs and business requirements, ensuring that professionals can realise their potential and rapidly begin delivering on the knowledge and skills that allow them to make high-value conversions. 

If you’re looking to upskill your existing salespeople, this apprenticeship can be a valuable way to ensure that your business remains resilient and keeps up with the latest trends. 

With 54% of sales reps noting that digital sales tools assist them in winning over more prospects, IT apprenticeships are quickly evolving to offer fundamental technical sales skills that are crucial in the modern business environment, including social selling via online platforms and understanding technical product knowledge from planning to delivery, across the entire project lifecycle.

3. Data Analyst Apprenticeships

Increasingly popular amongst the IT apprenticeships on offer at level 4, Data Analyst Apprenticeships are geared towards enabling learners to develop practical expertise in not only the data analysis lifecycle, database architecture, forecasting and modelling, but additional skills in effective communication, problem-solving, and making business decisions driven by analytical insights. 

You might be interested in an apprenticeship of this level if you’ve come to realise that your organisation has a need for a professional analyst, or if you’re looking to reskill your staff to take advantage of the existing data that you collect and gain a competitive edge within your market. 

Making sense of large datasets to extract and report on meaningful patterns, analysts are vital when it comes to helping businesses navigate the increasingly data-driven landscape of sales, marketing, and technology. Apprentices on this course will gain essential digital skills in statistical programming languages such as Python and SQL, driving their productivity through innovative software.

4. Network Engineer Apprenticeships

IT apprenticeships in network engineering focus on building expertise in designing, implementing, and maintaining the computer networks that allow businesses to operate in the digital landscape. In an interconnected world, business leaders ought to have access to dependable, resilient engineers that can ensure vital network availability, security, and performance. 

You’ll likely find an apprenticeship in network engineering to be of significant use if you currently require support in the monitoring of network activity, undertaking IT system upgrades, or if you’re struggling to communicate technical network requirements with internal stakeholders. 

These digital apprenticeships ensure that your business can deliver and manage a high-quality, robust service, no matter how much pressure it’s under. They’ll offer learners the ability to acquire knowledge of various network protocols and infrastructure components, as well as the troubleshooting techniques that can rapidly get routers, switches, and firewalls back up and running.

5. Software Developer Apprenticeships

Digital apprenticeships in software development offer your employees the opportunity to learn programming languages and develop software applications in line with industry best practices. 

As software drives innovation across all industries, your staff will find an apprenticeship in software development enriching, allowing them to gain hands-on experience in not only coding, testing, and debugging, but in collaborating with product managers and communicating solutions to key stakeholders at all levels of seniority.

These programmes of study are tailored to the precise needs of businesses, ensuring that reskilling employees or recent hires are trained in the technology stack that makes the biggest impact, whether they incorporate Java, C#, or web development languages such as JavaScript and its various front and back-end frameworks. 

IT apprenticeships not only bridge the digital skills gap, but also unlock the potential for your employees to realise their career growth potential and achieve long-term success. With the increasing adoption of technologies such as AI and automation across a number of industries, employers can leverage the talent emerging from apprenticeship programmes with confidence that they can hit the ground running on any number of technically complex roles. 

Furthermore, these digital apprenticeships offer business leaders an opportunity to ensure they remain innovative and competitive within a rapidly transforming, consumer-driven market. They offer a solid foundation of knowledge and skills, enabling the professionals that complete them to quickly put their newfound expertise into practice and contribute effectively towards digital strategies.

Digital apprenticeships are a transformative solution to bridging the digital skills gap and nurturing an expert workforce. They offer practical experience and essential digital skills, addressing the increasing difficulty of attracting talented IT professionals in the evolving technological landscape. 

By investing in IT apprenticeships, business leaders can find candidates and reskill existing employees with a range of crucial skills, from coding to cybersecurity, technical sales, data analysis, or network engineering. 

Experts in Aiding Businesses to Gain Essential Digital Skills

At Pareto, our specialist training providers have over 25 years of experience in delivering digital apprenticeships that make an impact, imparting technical sales excellence, software development knowledge, and data analysis skills to candidates across the UK and the USA. If you’re looking to find an apprenticeship programme to reskill your staff, or you’re looking to hire a successful apprentice to bridge your digital skills gap, contact us today.

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