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The New Face of Tech: Looking Beyond Traditional Hiring


Diversity and skill gaps are still prevalent in the tech industry. Traditional hiring methods aren’t fit for purpose anymore, it’s time to look towards apprenticeships. 


The face of tech has typically not been representative of the UK population. Male-dominated and usually white, only 15% of the UK tech workforce is from a BAME background.

But times are changing. 

Apprenticeships have the power to shift, and are shifting, what the tech industry looks like. Here’s how. 

More tech apprenticeships than ever before

When apprenticeships were assessed using Frameworks, there weren’t many options. There were two IT apprenticeships available: ‘IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals’ and ‘IT Application Specialist’. Their vague titles tell you what apprenticeships used to be like. 

Frameworks gave learners a top-level understanding of the industry; the aim was to gain the NVQ qualification. To pass the apprenticeship all they needed to do was complete the NVQ. Learners weren’t tested on how they performed in their role as there were no skills assessments.

But now apprenticeships are assessed using Standards

IT Apprenticeship Standards have been developed to train people into specific tech jobs with skills that employers need.

The structure of an apprenticeship means that learners have to meet a set criteria of skills, knowledge and behaviours in order to complete. They’re then assessed against the criteria through End-Point Assessment (EPA). EPA’s typically consist of an interview with an external assessor, a portfolio, an employer reference and a project. 

Employers can now hire apprentices in various tech roles. There are currently 21 IT apprenticeships available in areas like:

  • Infrastructure
  • Software Development and Testing
  • Cyber-Security
  • Data
  • Unified Communications

Working towards solving tech’s diversity issues

Tech’s diversity issue remains a hotly reported issue. And while there are new initiatives created each year, little progress has been made. 

Some tech companies are now scrapping their degree requirements, however, that’s not enough. You need to show that you’re actively seeking out people with various educational backgrounds. Not just saying that you’ll now accept their applications. 

Apprenticeships organically attract diverse talent. 

Entry-level apprenticeships only require people to have English and maths at level 2 (GCSE-level). This openness means a greater variety of people will feel confident applying for your role.  

It’s also a way to bring in early talent. Young people with no professional experience need nurturing. The supportive nature of an apprenticeship increases the chance of young people succeeding in their first job.

The age of re-skilling

The rapid rate of technology means that people will have to re-skill themselves. With more Millennials and Gen-Z’s coming into the workforce, the skill gaps between generations is obvious.  

The Apprenticeship Levy meant that apprenticeships are now funded by employers. The Government’s funding rules relaxed to allow anybody to up-skill themselves through an apprenticeship. 

An apprenticeship is a stepping stone into a new career, before jumping head-on into a new industry. This helps people who are nervous about studying again after years of being out of education, or those that need extra support after being away from the work for an extended period of time. 

Make the most of apprenticeships

The UK tech scene has been receptive to the Apprenticeship Levy. But have you been?

Don’t miss out on a key source of emerging, diverse talent that could make a real impact on your business. Many hard-to-fill tech vacancies can be solved by hiring and training young talent, or by re-skilling your existing people.

Apprenticeships are a flexible training method that can benefit all levels and departments of your business. Investing in your people’s careers has been proven to boost retention and satisfaction, make the most of apprenticeships today. 

About Avado

Avado is the professional academy for people who want real change. We provide learning in five areas which form our academies, Data, Finance, People, Technology, Marketing.

We do this with four learning experiences; Qualifications, Apprenticeships, Bootcamps and Modules. 

Avado’s apprenticeships are delivered by Arch, who are Ofsted ‘Outstanding’.

Stephanie Khan

Posted February 24, 2020