At the back end of last year our own Director of Apprenticeships, Dan Troke was invited on to The Apprenticeships Podcast hosted by Jon Jackson.
This relatively new podcast has already established itself as an important industry commentator spreading the positive message of apprenticeships and the huge part they play for individuals, businesses and the wider UK economy.
Dan’s appearance on the podcast allowed him to talk openly and honestly about the important role that apprenticeships can play in closing the skills gaps, a gap that exist in most business sectors but especially the cyber industry.
The cyber security industry has a problem in that it’s not recruiting effectively on the lower levels which means that the future of the sector is incredibly vulnerable. It currently fights amongst itself, recruiting from competitors for the existing talent where ‘timed served’ seems to be the easy route. This might be good for the already established employees in the sector, but it isn’t great for the industry as a whole as it develops at such a dramatic rate.
Dan’s view was that traditional recruiters aren’t deliberately trying to ‘shoot themselves in the foot’, they’re simply struggling in a sector that didn’t exist in the same way it did three years ago. Things have moved on and everything about the surrounding industry must do in the very same way.
But when it comes to learners, there is of course a very powerful argument for not heading down the traditional university route but Dan’s position has never been about ‘university v apprenticeships’, especially as he’s seeing more graduates applying for apprenticeships once they’ve finished university. But apprenticeships are valuable to learners and employers because they ‘do a job’ while learning at the same time and this is what makes them appealing.
Dan’s advice is that apprenticeships should always be viewed as a three-way situation. You have the learner, the provider and of course the employer and at BIT Training we work incredibly hard to include that employer at every stage possible, including employer induction days.
In what was a passionate exchange of views on apprenticeships, Dan and Jon agreed that the impact of this type of work-based education can be huge. Dan said: “It’s not about what you study it’s about taking that education to its fulness”.
Speaking at the end of the podcast Jon left the listener with this positive and inciteful comment: “Apprenticeships aren’t just training programmes, they’re transformational programmes” and we couldn’t agree more at BIT Training.