Results day: Digital apprenticeships on the rise

Digital Skills

This August, 5.5 million 16 and 18-year-olds collected their GCSE and A Level results. With the nerves and the mystery also comes opportunity – for candidates to begin their search for a career path and for employers to find great fitting talent. Vacancy numbers rise and employers drive engagement to match the right talent with the right role at the right time.

This year is no different in terms of engagement, but perhaps what is interesting is the rise in digital careers. The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way the nation works, and with technology on the rise, the quest for digital skills within organisations is growing too. Independent analysis of jobs data by GetMyFirstJob Ltd shows that digital apprenticeship opportunities are up by 49.8% between Q1 and Q2 this year, as well as applications for them.

David Allison, Co-Founder and CEO of GetMyFirstJob added “As well as the increased number of opportunities for young people, it is great to see that perceptions of the digital sector have also moved on significantly. The insight from or own data set tells that across the wide range of employers, FE colleges and apprenticeship providers we work with, applications are now 50:50 from male and female candidates. This is a significant improvement of the 45:55 split we saw as recently as the first half of last year”

Starting a job search is daunting, especially for young people. With thousands of opportunities available, and abundance of routes possible to each the process can seem overwhelming. Feelings of excitement and possibility are met with doubt, uncertainty and fear around making the wrong decision, or even the right one.

One employer has found a solution and collaborated with TheTalentPeople to make it a reality

The Microsoft Apprenticeship Connector

Following a series of successful attraction campaigns in 2020, Microsoft approached TheTalentPeople looking for an effective way to connect their employer partners and customers with quality talent. Despite the rise in youth unemployment, partners and customers were still struggling to utilise Microsoft levy funding to fill digital apprenticeship vacancies as young people simply couldn’t find them!

From this need, the innovative Microsoft Apprenticeship Connector tool was created.

The Connector is, in essence, a job board that consolidates apprenticeship vacancies from Microsoft’s partners and customers in one place. Partners and customers post their jobs onto GetMyFirstJob (via their training providers) and gain increased visibility of their opportunities through their connection with the Microsoft brand and the Connector. Microsoft are leading the supporting promotional activity to help guide young people to the tool for maximum exposure.

Between February and June 2021, the tool had already attracted 18,000 visits from candidates, Microsoft partners and customers, and received 471 applications across 182 opportunities.

How can you help young people find a great opportunity?

The creation of this tool has proven that it can give young people a better chance at finding employment with a reputable employer, particularly in digital apprenticeships. It has also strengthened Microsoft’s connections with its partners and customers.

But the circumstances which allowed the Connector tool to be created aren’t unique to Microsoft. All employers possess a powerful network of partners and customers.

Take a look at your customer and partner networks. How many apprenticeship vacancies do you think they hold? We bet it’s more than you think!

We’re interested to speak to employers who have a strong customer and partner network that could be utilised in a similar way. Perhaps you could be the next big brand helping connect young people with amazing opportunities amongst your trusted network, while strengthening your customer and partner relationships to boot.

Microsoft Connector – nominated for both the ISE’s 2021 Innovation in Attraction award and Personnel Today’s 2021 Innovation in Recruitment Award