Hackney College and startups from east London-based Tech City will offer technical apprenticeships to young people in inner London boroughs, one in five of whom are unemployed.
Two new university-level apprenticeship pathways will include qualifications in IT Applications Development and Project Management, and will run from September 2013. Running alongside pre-existing apprenticeships for digital and IT assistance, and office support, the scheme has been backed by Tech City companies including advertising firm Mother, printing company Moo, creative agency Poke and social strategy firm Lean Mean Fighting Machine.
Apprentices can spend between six and 18 months working, with higher-level apprentices requiring at least 15 months in order to gain a level 4 qualification.
Five hundred apprentices will be given the opportunity to work at Tech City startups, where a reported 80 percent of job vacancies are not externally advertised.
Tom Hostler, founder of Poke, said the scheme would be beneficial to the firm as well as the apprentices themselves. "Running a creative, digital and media company for 12 years, finding the next source of talent has never been far from my priorities," he said. "Having young people in the company will help us to be more responsive to our clients."
Last week, the Department for Education announced its own ‘tech levels' scheme, which would see technical qualifications such as IT receiving degree-level recognition from industry bodies and relevant companies.
Companies interested in taking part in the scheme can find out more at the Tech City Apprenticeships website.
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