National Apprenticeship Week: CompTIA unveils IT apprenticeship portal

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Move gets channel support as CompTIA expands Skillsboost offering

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, IT industry organisation CompTIA has launched a careers portal for young people looking to pursue an IT career through an apprenticeship.

The Skillsboost apprenticeships portal provides a single online IT careers information resource, including career roadmaps, case studies of successful IT apprenticeships and the ability to “test drive” different IT job roles, as well as information on the leading apprenticeship providers and the schemes they offer.

The aim is to boost the number of young people entering the industry with job-ready skills, to help tackle the sector-wide skills shortage that is affecting business productivity and efficiency.

BT - ApprenticesGraham Hunter, vice president, skills certification, Europe and Middle East at CompTIA, said: “Apprenticeships play a crucial role in encouraging young people into IT careers, providing a vocational alternative to university degrees and practical on-the-job experience that can see individuals quickly develop their skills in any technology platform, rather than get caught up in theoretical content in academia.

We’ve expanded our Skillsboost website to help thousands of young people find their pathway into the IT industry through apprenticeships.”

Chris Ward, CompTIA member and director at Vermont Systems, said: “Apprenticeships are perfect for young people that want to get into work, earn good money and quickly become a key member of staff. They have access to a wealth of practical training resources, like CompTIA’s A+, that tend to be more useful than theoretical content you find at university.”

Ward said: “More often than not, in our line of work, you have to train university graduates as much as you do with apprentices when they first start. Personally, I’d rather have an apprentice that had done three years with me than a graduate that had done three years at university. Our apprentices have been invaluable to us over the years, which is why they form a key part of our recruitment policy.”

Students Laptop Education School Training ClassroomBruce Penson, managing director at ProDriveIT, said: “Young people that are looking to get into the IT industry should strongly consider an apprenticeship as they are a great way to build practical and soft skills in a real workplace setting.

They are also advantageous as apprentices will learn how businesses work and how to be commercially minded which is something that university graduates might lack. This sets them up for rapid progression – apprentices that we have recruited have quickly climbed the ranks, and now hold very senior positions within our company in their early-to-mid-twenties.

They have huge amounts of experience and no student loan to worry about. I would encourage young people to strongly consider these points when deciding whether to do an apprenticeship or go to university,” said Penson.

@AntonySavvas