3 Jan

Develop Skills to Digitally Transform in the West Midlands

Written by:

James Bell

The wider West Midlands has the UK’s fastest growing tech sector; with Golden Valley in Cheltenham, the Gaming industry in Leamington Spa, Cyber and Defence in Malvern and Central Birmingham becoming a growing tech hub. Yet there is a wide gulf between Organisations in the region when it comes to Tech, with some organisations fully embracing digital transformation and others where Tech is a complete blind spot. The same goes for investment in skills development. This may be due to a lack of time available or organisations simply focusing on keeping their head above water, in any case completely unaware of what is on offer.

In this particular blog, we'll be going through the benefits of utilising Apprenticeship and Skills Bootcamp programmes in Tech and Digital to improve your team's skills in this area - detailing why and how they can be used and what these programmes consist of.

Why should businesses invest in Tech and Digital skills?

Keeping pace with technology is crucial for modern businesses - the often told horror stories of Blockbuster and Kodak are a reminder that even business giants can fall prey to new disruptors in their sector, or fall behind as new tech renders them obsolete.  Regardless of their reasoning; whether they don’t understand tech, want to know exact ROI before investing, don’t think they have time to bring on new starters or don’t want to release time for existing people – the alternative of not adapting and developing leads to out-of-date systems, poor quality data, inefficiencies and mistakes, which could ultimately be the difference between winning and losing customers and their very survival.

As a Tech and Digital training provider working with Businesses across the West Midlands and UK, we’re well positioned to see the positive impact of training and Apprenticeships, so trust us - tech skills development will have a positive return on investment in an organisation. Developing your staff the tech skills creates a “washback” effect of greater efficiencies, creativity and problem solving.

Why invest in Digital Skills Training rather than just new tech?

Investing time and money in developing a workforce with the right skills, knowledge and behaviours to utilise technologies is far more important than just investing in new software and hardware, which existing staff may struggle with or be completely unable to use with their current skillset. Developing this knowledge in-house is far more rewarding and cost effective than having to outsource management of new systems or bring in additional, high-salary staff to manage the process. We firmly believe that Apprenticeships are the perfect mechanism for organisations to develop a high-quality, local workforce – presenting businesses with opportunity to recruit, retain and reskill their staff.

What Types of Tech and Digital Skills Training are there?

The two most common types of Government-Funded training are Apprenticeships and Skills Bootcamps. Both of these programmes can be utilised to train current staff and recruits into an organisation, with industry specific training, in this case in Tech and Digital.

How do Apprenticeships work?

Apprenticeships are much like any other Job role - the learner is employed by a company and is paid a wage by them. The key difference is the concept of Off-The-Job learning, which should take up roughly 6 hours per week of an Apprentice's time. This refers to anything that contributes to an apprentice's development that isn't directly doing the job itself - such as reading, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and training/courses completed by the learner. Important to note here is that this must be done in work hours to contribute to their programme.

Much of this training is facilitated by an external training provider, such as ourselves, who will help to support with the academic knowledge (and in our case business skills and professional attitudes/behaviours) required to perform their role and meet the Apprenticeship 'standard' (criteria required to pass the programme). Programmes range from level 2 beginner to level 7 Masters Degree equivalent programmes, meaning learners can start as a relative novice and progress to a point of collecting a fully-funded degree in a subject - having also accumulated crucial industry experience throughout.

Who can do an Apprenticeship?

Though there are several misconceptions surrounding exactly who can do an Apprenticeship, anyone over the age of 16 can complete an Apprenticeship programme. What many organisations don't realise is that they can be a perfect tool for reskilling staff, who can learn additional digital skills on-the-job and broaden their current role or progress further within a company and contribute toward digital transformation projects.

Apprenticeships are assessed through an End-Point Assessment (EPA) which consists of a review of what the apprentice has done throughout - usually in a portfolio created by the learner, a Synoptic Project and an interview with a panel from the end-point assessment organisation.

What is a Skills Bootcamp?

Skills Bootcamps are a Government-Funded, Industry Specific 8-16 week training course designed to allow learners to enter a specific industry as a recruit into an organisation or reskill in a particular area in order to take on additional responsibilites in their current role. Much like Apprenticeships, these are delivered by an external training provider - in fact many companies and providers look to progress Bootcamp learners onto a corresponding industry Apprenticeship.

Who can do a Skills Bootcamp?

Anyone over the age of 19 can do a Skills Bootcamp, with funding from bodies such as the WMCA, DfE and county councils allowing local businesses to access digital skills training in the Midlands this way. A bootcamp is completely free for self employed, with SME's paying 10% and large organisations paying 30% in training contribution

How much does accessing Apprenticeships and Skills Bootcamps cost?

The training element of these programmes is Government-funded, with the West Midlands combined authority announcing that £14.7 million was to be spent on tech and digital skills training in the region during Birmingham Tech week in October last year. Accessing Government-Funded programmes is a cost effective contributor to an organisation's digital transformation - with companies only having to fund 5% of the training for an Apprentice

The biggest investment for a business is the time and effort required once they do decide to bite the bullet and go forward with developing their workforce – but we are here to help! You’ll get support from our team throughout the process – from first thinking about accessing funding all the way through to Apprentice and Bootcamp learners completing their programme.

Where can I find out more about accessing Digital Skills Training for my business?

If you’d like to know more, you’re already in the right place! Have a look at our offering on our website or contact us at enquiries@tdm.co.uk to find out about how you can utilise Government Funding to take your workforce to the next level.

Related News

View All Blogs

© 2023 The Development Manager Ltd. All rights reserved.

Terms & ConditionsPrivacy Policy

we went with; wizard pi

No items found.