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Apprenticeships key to improving diversity in tech

Apprenticeships key to improving diversity in tech

Imagine the apprentice of today—not just a youngster in overalls tinkering under a car’s hood, but individuals of all ages and backgrounds embarking on a transformative journey into the heart of innovation.

Apprenticeships have evolved beyond mere alternatives to university; they are dynamic pathways into diverse careers, including the vibrant world of technology.

Gone are the days when apprenticeships were solely for the mechanically inclined or those not suited for traditional academia. Today, they span a spectrum from foundational to advanced levels, offering opportunities for skill development and career advancement in fields like software development, data analysis, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.

As we celebrate National Apprenticeships Week, it’s crucial to recognize the pivotal role these programs play in reshaping the tech landscape. With nearly half of UK apprentices aged 25 or over, apprenticeships are democratising access to tech careers and fostering a more inclusive workforce.

Consider Mark, who transitioned away from his electronic engineering background towards machine learning through a master’s apprenticeship. His story underscores that “age should never be a barrier to learning and growth in the ever-evolving digital arena”.

Companies such as  PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Aviva, Microsoft and HSBC  are leading the charge by offering apprenticeship programs that not only bridge the gap between education and employment but also cultivate a diverse, skilled workforce driving innovation forward.

So whether you’re just starting your tech journey or contemplating a switch to the digital pathway, remember this: apprenticeships are not just about learning—they’re about seizing the countless opportunities that await in a sector brimming with excitement and possibility. Together, let’s embrace apprenticeships as the catalysts for change and the keys to unlocking a brighter, more inclusive future in tech.

Cecilia Harvey is an award-winning tech founder, author, and entrepreneur. Cecilia is the founder of Tech Women Today, the global digital platform to showcase women in technology, and a resource for non-technical female entrepreneurs who want to understand how to leverage technology to grow and scale their businesses.