Retailer John Lewis has launched a four-year IT degree apprenticeship to provide students with on-the-job training in the company’s IT department.
The scheme was created in conjunction with The Tech Partnership, and will offer eight students who have completed their A Levels a place while they study for a degree in Digital & Technology Solutions at education partner Queen Mary University of London.
The apprentices will spend three days a week in the IT department at John Lewis’s head office in London’s Victoria Street and the other two at Queen Mary.
The apprentices will have the opportunity to work in several different areas of the IT department to develop specialist technical skills.
Students will be paid a salary starting at £16,000 and rising each year based on performance. There are no tuition fees, so students will not amass any education-related debt.
Each candidate will get a full BSc (Hons) degree for completing the programme and have the opportunity to progress with an IT career at John Lewis.
Paul Coby, IT director at the high street chain, told V3 that the apprenticeships are a way to bring more digital skills into the world of retail, given that technology plays a major role in driving growth in the sector.
“These 'degree apprenticeships' are the ideal way for us to find, attract and develop our future IT and digital partners,” he said.
“Each apprentice will get the opportunity to work across the Partnership IT team, for instance on applications or infrastructure development, coding and issue resolution, before they decide where to develop their technical specialisms.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people who are passionate about retail and passionate about technology. They will be able to develop their skills, while learning and earning at the same time.”
Partnerships between the business and academic worlds to build IT skills are part of the government’s ambition for the private sector to take a leading role in boosting digital skills.
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