Apprenticeships and Skills

IT Apprenticeships,  placements and workforce skills development group

Smaller employers often steer clear of Government-funded training and skills schemes because they find them cumbersome to deal with. The things SME business owners tell us include:

  • “I don’t understand all this jargon - what’s actually in it for me as the business owner?” 
  • “The candidates I have been offered in the past are not employable in my business  - I couldn’t put them in front of my clients” 
  • “The providers don’t seem to realise that the real customer here is ME and my business. Not the provider, the funders or even to an extent the candidates.  I am the only person in this picture who has the option to say ‘no’ “ 
  • “The people I am offered for interview can sometimes tell me what they would LIKE to do but what I am really looking for is is a piece of relevant work they have already done that’s in some way relevant to what we do and which I can talk to  them about at interview  and assess their approach to work, problem solving and initiative”

Our experience at UKITA tells us that these criticisms are often justified.  But not always.

Provider characteristics that do tend to lead to apathy and low take-up by employers include:

  • A lack of meaningful filtering of candidates at the ‘input’ stage.  They take the view that ‘anyone who has a pulse is a potential candidate’.
  • Lack of real IT or real-world business experience from the leadership, management and delivery people at the provider. A public sector background is generally the reverse of a business person’s world view
  • Limited scope for the employer to have real input into what the candidates will be learning when they are away from the employer’s premises
  • Insufficient focus on real-world skills like analysis, problem-solving, knowing how to speak to people at various levels and in their approach to the workplace (punctuality, work ethic, initiative and attitude)

UKITA has formed an Apprenticeships, Skills and Employability group with the aim of providing a blueprint for the requirements and demands of the smaller employer (often called SMEs) in the IT, Digital and Tech sector. This will enable providers to tell us how well their offering fits our blueprint and allow us to list providers where we are happy to recommend their offering to our busy, demanding members and wider audience of business owners and employers.

We are also interested in undergraduate employment on employer-based projects, Business Administration apprenticeships (often seen as a ‘safer’ starting point to engage with apprenticeships for example) and ways in which IT, Digital and Tech  SME business owners are using formal or informal frameworks and systems to develop and optimise the skills and productivity of their existing workforce to enhance capability, productivity and the bottom line.

We have started to build a UK-wide list of SME-friendly schemes and we welcome conversations with training providers, FE and HE institutions and others. Get in touch with our central office or sign up for updates.


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Wyre Academy’s team of professionally-qualified trainers deliver blended training programmes towards nationally and internationally accredited (high stakes) qualifications in Tech and Digital Marketing. We critically balance and use blended online and offline approaches to ensure that the learning achieved is done according to both of our core teaching principles:

Principle 1: Learning should be “Just in Time” – you learn what you need to learn when you need to learn it.

Principle 2: Teaching should be delivered on “The Martini Principle” – your learning opportunities will be accessible Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere by use of sensibly blended digital and real-world media.


Telephone: 0333 10 100 68


At Digital Native we’re passionate about apprenticeships and we believe the apprenticeship experience should be unique for every apprentice and employer.

We take the time to listen and understand your requirements, we match the right young person to the right employer / job role and deliver bespoke training to ensure the apprenticeship is a success.

We’re selective about the young people and employers we work with. From our base at the Custard Factory in Birmingham we aim to give every apprentice the best start to their tech career.

Telephone: 0121 623 7230

©United Kingdom IT Association Ltd 2016.