February 3, 2021
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to reverberate long after the medical emergency is over.
The economic challenges created by lockdowns have hit young people hard.
Many have lost their jobs and are finding it hard to secure another.
But people of all ages have been furloughed and are concerned about what happens when Government support schemes end.
It’s an anxious time.
Change is only getting faster
The pandemic has accelerated an existing trend for the future of the whole workforce: a clear shift in the types of skills needed to thrive in an increasingly digital economy. What’s more, the need for a more flexible, diverse and inclusive workforce is reshaping organisations. With automation set to revolutionise many sectors of the economy, it’s more important than ever that people are empowered to acquire the new skills that will enable them to thrive.
A rich and diverse talent pool
Apprenticeships are one way that Accenture is helping to inspire and develop the new workforce.
There are a number of reasons why apprenticeships work so well.
One is the diverse talent pool that they open up. While companies like Accenture have traditionally focused on graduate recruitment, the success of our apprenticeship programmes show that taking a new approach really pays dividends for everyone involved.
Apprentices work at the heart of our business and are integral to our success.
It gives them real-world experience they could not get any other way, and ultimately, of course, it’s good for our business and for our clients.
One-size does not fit all
One misconception is that apprenticeships are only for school-leavers – that’s certainly not true for us.
In fact, a fifth of our latest intake was aged over 25. Age is not a barrier, nor is social background.
We have applicants who decide an apprenticeship is the best option for them for a whole range of reasons. Maybe further education wasn’t right for them, or they decided on a career change, for example.
A change of direction
Recognising that many people are looking for a career change led us to pilot Step into Tech, our Higher Apprenticeship Programme, which we’ve developed in collaboration with Newcastle University.
It’s a way for people from a non-technical background to switch to a career in technology.
Not only will they earn a fully-funded MSc in Digital and Technology, they will also gain invaluable, salaried work experience at Accenture.
We’re delighted with the response to the new programme. For just ten places, we received a huge number of high-quality applications.
In the end, we took on 12 apprentices – 80 per cent of which, incidentally, are women.
Our apprentices will play a decisive role in helping us deliver the technology of the future.
Working at our Advanced Technology Centre, in Newcastle’s Cobalt Park, could take them into careers across a huge range of innovative technologies that will shape the future for how we all live and work.
Our Newcastle Technology Degree Apprenticeship is still open for applications until February 26, 2021.
With an ability to gain a BSc Degree in Digital & Technology Solutions or Cyber Security – while also working on real technology projects – this is a fantastic opportunity to kick-start a career in technology.
At Accenture, we believe technology has the power to improve the world, but not without human ingenuity.
We strive to use bold ideas to build a better future.
We need different people, bringing together different ideas and perspectives.
And that’s where our apprentices come in.