FTSE 250 firm FDM Group, a professional services provider with a focus on technology, today announces its first ever apprenticeship programme, offering new joiners the opportunity to gain degree-level qualifications as part of an innovative training course.
Candidates will be given full vocational training in key IT roles alongside to study as part of the government-approved level 6 (Bachelor of Science Degree) Digital and Technology Professional apprenticeship. After the initial training phase is complete, employees will then be able to specialise in key areas such as IT consultancy, software engineering, cyber security, and data science.
As part of FDM Group’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the apprenticeship programme will operate with a 50:50 gender split, with many candidates coming from underrepresented backgrounds.
The initial stage of the programme has been developed in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, with FDM expecting to sign additional agreements in London and with other universities across the country in the coming weeks. The Sheffield Hallam course starts with a solid 12 weeks first term block, onsite at the university. The next seven terms have a study week in the middle of the term and then the ninth term is final exams. For the at university study blocks (including the 12 weeks), FDM apprentices receive full salary and FDM subsidises their accommodation in Sheffield.
Each university which partners with FDM will offer their own mixture of on campus and remote learning with a common, government mandated, 20 per cent of the apprentices’ time at work dedicated to university study.
Joe Hockney, Employer Partnerships Manager, Sheffield Hallam University told TechBullion, “We’re proud of our partnership with FDM and applaud their record of bringing diverse new talent into tech. This aligns perfectly with our Transforming Lives strategy. We’re the current University of the Year for Social Mobility; a high proportion of our students are from under-represented groups or are the first person in their family to attend university.
This apprenticeship offers direct routes into industry for talented young people who may not have studied STEM subjects at A Level. After the initial 12-week study block, they are ready to start working on client projects and adding value. Three years later, they graduate with a wealth of experience and no debt. I also want to mention that FDM pay above market rate for degree apprenticeships and provide full mentoring support throughout.
Rod Flavell, CEO, FDM Group added, “Far too many talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds miss out on a university education due to fears around tuition fees, a problem compounded by the chaos and disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our new apprenticeship programme has been designed to give those very people access to well-paid experience in the IT industry and having the freedom lean and develop as part of a fully funded degree level qualification.
“We all have responsibility to contribute to the UK’s wider levelling up agenda and we hope that our new offering will transform the lives of hundreds of young people, spreading opportunity and access to a fantastic career across the whole country.”