Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

Open University Degree Apprenticeships are the Perfect Fit for Digital and Technology-based Employees


Today’s economy has a high demand for digitally and technologically qualified personnel. While the Covid-19 pandemic may have delivered the economy a shock, it is likely to have accelerated the growth in importance of technology-based roles.

Skills will play a crucial role in finding suitable people to fill these roles. Employers are challenged with finding new talent to bring into the company, or explore ways they can develop existing talent within their organisation.

The Open University (OU) in Wales offers a flexible, fully-funded, online Degree Apprenticeship in Applied Software Engineering, which is particularly suited to people working in digital and technology-based roles, as well as a tool to attract new talent. An apprenticeship enables individuals to work full time, earn a salary, and complete a degree.

The course gives a broad foundation in the technologies and techniques of computing and the issues involved in their application. Apprentices acquire the tools they need to stay ahead in the rapidly changing world of software engineering, and they gain both theoretical knowledge and practical experience in designing, building and evaluating software components and systems.

Many industries have seen demand for digitally delivered services boosted as the lockdown has forced millions of people to work and shop from home. As it’s gradually lifted and economic activity starts up again, it is probable that things will not go back to the way before the pandemic, especially with social distancing measures likely to remain in force for many months further. Many business activities that have been shifted online during the lockdown are likely to stay there.

This being the case, businesses will become more reliant on having well-qualified people in digital and technology-based roles, while businesses operating in technology sectors are likely to be the ones that grow most and have a demand for more staff.

Open University Degree Apprenticeships meet the needs of both businesses and employees. They provide work-based learning over a four to four-and-a-half-year course. Employers agree to release apprentices for the equivalent of a day a week to study and tuition options exist to minimise disruption to organisations.[M1]

One of the great benefits of a degree apprenticeship is the close connection between working and learning. Apprentices can apply and consolidate the theoretical and practical knowledge they gain straight into the workplace. Employers benefit from team members whose skills and expertise are measurably growing through the duration of their course, actively having a positive impact on their future growth.

Throughout the programme the apprentices are supported by a team of experienced academics and Practice Tutors. With over 50 years’ experience of distance higher education, The OU can boast that approximately 74% of its students are currently in the workplace across the UK – this puts them in a fantastic position to understand the demands of simultaneously learning, working and living.

Whatever the ‘new normal’ looks like, employees in digital and technology-based roles will play a critical part in it. The OU in Wales Degree Apprenticeship enables employers access to a funded degree programme that will not only contribute towards the development of future talent, it will also contribute to providing employees who will add extra value to their businesses with the skills and knowledge they gain.

The OU in Wales now have places available on its next Degree Apprenticeship programme, business can find more information here