The Open University (OU) in Wales has secured a bid to continue offering funded places on its Degree Apprenticeship in Applied Software Engineering.
The Degree Apprenticeship programme is available to employers across Wales in the public and private sectors. It is suitable for new and existing staff who work in digital and technology roles and who spend most of their working hours in Wales. The programme is funded by the Welsh Government through the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).
Delivered flexibly around the needs of the organisation, the Degree Apprenticeship programme can be used to upskill employees or recruit new talent into a business through academic and work-based learning. There are no formal entry requirements and apprentices are fully supported by an OU Practice Tutor in the workplace and online. After completing the course, apprentices achieve a BSc (Hons) in Applied Software Engineering.
The OU in Wales is already working across several sectors including local authorities, the NHS, fintech, housing associations, manufacturing, and SME organisations. Recent success stories with partner employers include the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), Welsh housing association Trivallis, and Craftcourses.com.
The way the Degree Apprenticeship is taught allows people to study wherever they live. This has led to partnerships with employers in every part of Wales including rural areas. The programme’s online teaching has also helped apprentices to continue their studies with little disruption during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Open University’s new intake of degree apprentices in Wales will start in October of this year, and February 2022. They will be the sixth and seventh cohorts of apprentices to enrol on the programme since its launch in 2019.
Louise Casella, Director of the OU in Wales, said:
“We are really pleased to be able to continue to support the demand from employers in Wales to help develop their staff. Degree apprentices across Wales are studying flexibly with the OU to upskill and help meet the needs of their organisations. Skill shortages in software engineering still exist, that's why investing in this area is so important to our economic recovery.”
Expected future demand for software developer and related professional roles is high compared to other jobs in Wales¹. A recent report commissioned by the OU and Be the Business noted that 77% of UK business leaders lack the skills required to successfully implement new technology into their business. Through the Degree Apprenticeship in Applied Software Engineering programme, the OU in Wales hopes to help organisations across all sectors address the growing demand for highly skilled employees in digital and technology roles.