In the UK, the number of tech firms has grown over 11% in the last five years - against an all-industry average of 0.3% - and the number of tech specialists has increased 8% over the same period. 134,000 new recruits are needed a year, and over 40% of employers recruiting tech specialists report difficulty in filling their vacancies.

At the same time, apprenticeships are underutilised. Only 6% of tech professionals are aged 16-24, compared to 12% for the economy overall. Tech employers are increasingly recognising that bringing in more young talent through apprenticeships is essential to creating the skills pool the UK needs. Employers are collaborating, through the Tech Partnership, to create new types of apprenticeships, for example including vendor qualifications or honours degrees, and establishing programmes for in-demand roles such as cyber security specialists.

Many employers have invested significantly in setting up their own high quality apprenticeship programmes – identifying the best training, working out how to make apprentices productive as quickly as possible, and ensuring their managers know how to give apprentices a great start to their career. Many other employers are interested in offering apprenticeships but, without this sort of investment, feel unable to do so with confidence.

To help the sector address its skills shortages, companies have brought together their experience to establish Tech Industry Gold Apprenticeships. If an employer chooses a Tech Industry Gold programme, they can be confident training is delivered to the highest standards, and is focussed on early productivity of their apprentice. In addition, their managers can benefit from resources and help through the Tech Partnership.

James Lawrence, Senior Talent Manager at Visa Europe says: “Employers like Visa Europe want to be confident that the apprenticeship we deliver is of an outstanding quality. Where a training provider's programme has been accredited as Tech Industry Gold, we can have that confidence.”

Already, over 2,700 apprentices are benefitting from Tech Industry Gold apprenticeship programmes from training providers Baltic Training, Firebrand Training, Highbury College, Intraining, IT Skillsman, Just IT, PDS Group, QA Apprenticeships and TDM.

Find out more at