FDM Group, a professional services provider with a focus on technology, is launching an apprenticeship tech degree programme for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
London-headquartered FDM has teamed up with Sheffield Hallam University for the initial stage of the programme, which will aim to give 500 candidates the opportunity to study for a fully-funded degree while also receiving on-the-job training and a salary.
FDM expects to sign additional agreements in London and with other universities across the country in the coming weeks.
Each university which partners with FDM will offer their own mixture of on-campus and remote learning with 20% of the apprentices’ time at work dedicated to university study.
Candidates will be given full vocational training in key IT roles while studying for a level 6 (Bachelor of Science Degree) Digital and Technology Professional apprenticeship.
Employees will be able to specialise in key areas such as IT consultancy, software engineering, cybersecurity and data science.
The apprenticeship programme will operate with a 50:50 gender split, with many candidates coming from underrepresented backgrounds.
“We’re proud of our partnership with FDM and applaud their record of bringing diverse new talent into tech,” said Joe Hockney, employer partnerships manager at Sheffield Hallam 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.”
Rod Flavell, CEO at FDM Group, commented: “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.”