Back in November, just a few weeks after Sheffield College became an associate sponsor of Sheffield Digital, we organised an informal briefing with them and a number of local tech companies.
It was a chance for the College to share their plan to introduce a Level 4 Software Developer Apprenticeship. Staff at the College want to make sure that the programme is structured and delivered in a way that will meet the needs of local businesses, so the aim has been to involve employers from the start.
Developing an apprenticeship
Level 4 apprenticeships are aimed at people 18 years and older and pitched post A-level/pre-university. That means this new apprenticeship will fill the gap between secondary education and university. It will be based on the approved standard, but there is scope to tailor both course content and the way apprentices study.
Employers with an opportunity to work in collaboration with Sheffield College. Working together, they can develop a model that will help tackle Sheffield’s skills gap and open up opportunities in digital to a wider cross-section of the community.
It is expected that the apprenticeship will only take 18 months. The College hopes that it will attract people who are returning to work or changing careers, as well as school leavers.
The conversation at the briefing covered a range of topics, including:
- course content
- how the course should be delivered (time at work vs time at College)
- useful/relevant qualifications
- support for employers
- how candidates should be recruited.
Following on from the briefing, we are planning an update meeting 4–6pm on Wednesday 7th February at the Silver Plate restaurant at the College’s city centre campus.
At that meeting, Steve Elliott, Sheffield College’s Director of Curriculum (Engineering Technologies), and his team will provide details on:
- the College’s strategy for recruiting suitable candidates from the College population and wider community
- the content and structure of the initial two-week “bootcamp” to qualify candidates, including how employers can get involved
- the curriculum plan and qualification offer
- how the apprenticeship process will work for employers, including support from the College.
Some thank yous
We’re very grateful to the following companies who either attended the first briefing or have said that they want to be involved: 3Squared, Appt, Ask4, Evoluted, Highlander IT, Knowledge Integration, Lightwork Design, Redemption Media, Skills Logic, Twinkl, Yoomee, and Zoo Digital.