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GoCompare Employees Start Degree Apprenticeships with OU in Wales

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GoCo Group, the company behind popular UK comparison website GoCompare, have signed up to The Open University in Wales’ Degree Apprenticeship programme.

The UK-wide organisation enrolled three of its current staff members on the new programme which specialises in Applied Software Engineering. The opportunity comes as part of the GoFurther Academy which launched in 2018 and offers education programmes to new and existing staff.

The Degree Apprenticeship qualification is four to four-and-a-half years long and provides an opportunity for apprentices to achieve a BSc (Hons) in Applied Software Engineering while they continue to work.

Milly Blenkin, Talent Programme Manager at GoCo Group, said:

“The GoFurther Academy team are thrilled to welcome Steph, Matt and Chloe into the fold. It’s great to be able to see our existing colleagues observe the benefits of undertaking a degree apprenticeship.

“The flexibility and support that the OU offers our staff as they undertake their degree made partnering with them a no-brainer. We work hard to upskill our staff; being able to offer them a fully funded degree is an amazing initiative to be a part of.”

Launched in February 2019, the OU’s Degree Apprenticeship in Applied Software Engineering is a higher education programme that combines academic and work-based learning in a way that can be delivered flexibly around the demands of the employer. Apprentices gain practical experience and theoretical knowledge of designing, building and evaluating software components and systems.

The programme has recruited over 30 apprentices to date and gives students the knowledge, skills and behavioural characteristics they need to become software engineers.

Lynnette Thomas, Deputy Director of The Open University in Wales, said:

“We’re very excited to be working with the GoCo Group to deliver our new degree apprenticeships. This latest partnership is all about meeting the skills gaps identified across the ICT and digital sector.”

GoCo Group’s new apprentices will be supported by an OU Practice Tutor throughout their studies. The course covers a range of subjects including:

  • Web, mobile and cloud technologies
  • Software engineering
  • Programming
  • Design and user experience.

The OU’s Degree Apprenticeship is fully funded by the Welsh Government through the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), meaning that employers are equally supported by the programme.

Alex Currie, Vice President of People and Talent at GoCo Group, said:

“Our new partnership with The Open University in Wales shows our continued commitment to develop, engage and retain the best talent to allow us to continue in our mission to save people time and money.

“Since launching our GoFurther Academy we believe our significant investment in degree apprenticeships will have long-term benefits for talent development, the economy and the growing tech community in south Wales.”