Consulting and outsourcing company Capgemini UK will mark the launch of a new work-based degree with Aston University today, during its first ever Higher Apprentices Graduation.
In a UK first, Capgemini Higher Apprentices will be able to progress to the second year of University study using their Higher Apprenticeship as an entry point to complete a BSc (Hons) degree.
Capgemini and Aston University have developed two full-course degrees, which will be studied over five years. These will be the first sponsored degrees in the UK ICT sector to be taught and delivered almost entirely in the workplace rather than attending day release at University.
Software Engineering will be based on developing students’ technical abilities and understanding, whilst Information Systems will include a significant focus on IT management.
They will include a range of bespoke modules designed specifically to help produce the software engineers and information system specialists of the future. The study will involve two years on the Higher Apprenticeship and three years studying for the BSc.
The 22 Higher Apprentices graduating this year were the first to join Capgemini, in 2011. Since this first intake, the number of Higher Apprentices joining the business has increased year-on-year; in 2014, Capgemini will accept 120 apprentices on to its two-to-five year study and work programme.
In recognition of an increasingly important field, Capgemini is also in the early stages of developing a cyber security apprenticeship, and aims to take on five apprentices dedicated to its growing security practice.
>See also: UK firms shun graduates for big data jobs
Commenting on the graduation and the joint initiative, Capgemini’s UK executive chairman, Christine Hodgson, said: “This is a huge achievement, for those that have completed their apprenticeships, and for the business. As one of the world’s largest IT organisations, we take our responsibility to the next generation of IT developers, engineers and consultants very seriously.
“We take pride in providing our apprentices with every opportunity and we are delighted to mark the graduation of our first Higher Apprentices with such a unique partnership. From the beginning, Aston University has displayed the same level of enthusiasm and commitment as Capgemini, and I have every confidence that our Apprentices will receive an excellent education during the next step of their development.”
For over 20 years, Aston University has consistently featured in the top 10 UK Universities for graduate employability, and has more than 50 years of experience working with graduate employers.
Professor Dame Julia King, Aston University’s vice chancellor, commented: “Aston University is committed to employer-led learning, which is demonstrated through Capgemini’s ability to help shape and input into the content of these high quality degrees. The degree programmes will be delivered almost entirely in the workplace rather than through day release, providing even greater flexibility for students to combine work alongside study.
“Over the past two years, 14 of Aston’s own graduates have been recruited to Capgemini’s graduate training programme and I look forward to welcoming the Higher Apprentice graduates to Aston University and the next stage of their educational journey.”
According to Capgemini, those joining the Higher Apprenticeship scheme can expect to become an integral part of the business and given the opportunity to work on real client projects from the moment they join.