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4th March 2022

‘Earn while you learn’ scheme prepares young people for IT industry

Patrick Crowder

The professional services company FDM Group has unveiled a new ‘earn while you learn’ training scheme. After a 12-week study period, students taking part in the scheme can begin working on projects for clients as apprentices.

The three-year programme will leave young people with skills and experience in the IT industry while allowing them to avoid university costs and earn money from the work they perform. They will also earn a level 6 (Bachelor of Science) qualification as Digital and Technology Professional apprentices.

FDM Group says that their commitment to diversity and inclusion is a major consideration in this programme, so it will operate with a 50/50 gender split and instruct many students from disadvantaged backgrounds. FDM CEO Rod Flavell explains why it is so important to give these opportunities to those who need them most.

“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,” Flavell says, “Our new apprenticeship programme has been designed to give those very people access to well-paid experience in the IT industry, allowing them the freedom to learn and develop as part of a fully-funded degree level qualification.”

The apprenticeship scheme is designed to work in partnership with universities. Sheffield Hallam University is the first partner, and they will host the on-site instruction portions of the course. The first 12-week term, as well as seven more study blocks and final exams, will take place as SHU. Apprentices will receive full salary and subsidised accommodation during their time studying at SHU.

This programme is unique because it not only offers the experience that apprenticeship provides, but it also gives young people an opportunity to access university education, full mentorship support, and salary while working towards a degree-level qualification. 20% of the course will be spent in the classroom, with the other 80% set aside for practical learning. Joe Hockney, who is the Employer Partnerships Manager at SHU, explains why this programme is such a good fit for his university.

“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,” Hockney says, “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.”

It has always been important to provide young people with many paths to success, but apprenticeships have often been overlooked. Now, it is more important than ever to allow people from all backgrounds the opportunity to receive quality qualifications and enter the working world with a good head start. CEO Rod Flavell believes that creating new programmes such as this is not only a good practice, but a social responsibility.

“We all have a responsibility to contribute to the UK’s wider levelling up agenda,” Flavell says, “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.”

FDM Group’s apprenticeship scheme has been open since January 31st, 2022. More information on how to apply can be found at the link below.

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