Apprenticeships Are Key To Securing Britain’s Tech Future

It is totally unacceptable that some companies see fit to abuse government apprenticeship schemes. The future of Britain’s burgeoning tech sector is dependent upon the careful nurturing of young talent and apprenticeships are a vital part of that process.

My company has been running its own apprentice scheme for over 2 years and it is an on-going source of new talent for the business across every department, providing apprentices longer-term career opportunities.

Many government supported apprenticeship schemes have received criticism for being of little value in teaching new employable skills to youngsters. A parliamentary select committee reported yesterday that many such schemes were being milked for ‘excessive’ profit but unscrupulous employers.

Adrian Bailey, chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills select committee said: “Without clarity, there is only confusion. Confusion as to what the government is trying to achieve, what apprentices should be focusing on and what employers should be offering.

“It is important that we continue to invest in skills. We heard evidence of excessive profits at the public’s expense, of a government paying out too much money far too easily and of a lack of genuine value for money being provided by apprenticeship schemes.”

I have been a consistent campaigner for reform of the way computing skills are taught to young people and recently addressed the Knowledge & Innovation in Manchester Event, about creating the correct environment of young talent to develop and grow through school, university and apprenticeships.

The IT industry is obviously fluid and businesses need to re-invent themselves every few years. There is no sitting back on past glories in our industry and young talent is the essential fuel for that re-invention.

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Scott Fletcher is a UK entrepreneur, heading up companies with a total valuation in excess of £50m. Scott founded what is now his largest business, ANS Group, from his back bedroom in 1996 at the age of 22. Scott has been named Entrepreneur of the Year for the North West at the National Business Awards, IOD Young Director of the Year and The PLUS Markets Chairman of the Year. Scott is also often turned to for comment by the media and is becoming known for his outspoken views on IT and business policies.