IT has become a vital function in every company and the need for recruits in this area keeps growing as systems are updated to make them more efficient.
Add to this the growth of web and technology-based businesses and it is easy to see why this is a popular area for graduates and school-leavers to get involved in.
Surge in London-based tech companies
The exciting thing as a recruiter is that this technology boom is taking place right here in the UK. Silicon Roundabout in London is now the third-largest technology startup hub in the world.
Multi-national companies such as Cisco, Facebook, Google and Intel have all invested in the area. Further education institutions across the capital – City University London, Imperial College Londonand University College London –
are also lending their support to projects in the district.
The scope for job opportunities in this area is huge. A recent report by Tech City Investment Organisation revealed nearly 600,000 people are employed in technology in London.
Apprenticeship opportunities in this sector are bound to rise quickly as the report revealed the number of digital and tech companies in the capital rose by 76 per cent between 2009 and 2012.
Job opportunities in IT sector across the UK
There are plenty of tech jobs available outside of the capital too.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics in March 2013 showed that nearly 720,000 people were employed in the industry throughout the UK.
Apprenticeship can fill skills gap
Because technical jobs often require previous experience, apprenticeships are a great way to fill the skills gap.
In Wales, programmes have been established to help retrain graduates to enter the IT sector.
Some 3,100 new ICT recruits are needed every year to keep up with demand, according to official figures.
The government estimates that the IT sector in Wales will grow at twice the Welsh employment rate until at least 2020. That means there will be plenty of jobs and not enough people to fill them – great news for graduates and school-leavers.
Overall benefits of apprenticeships
It is clear to see that the IT sector is a booming industry and therefore an attractive proposition for would-be job seekers.
The next question is how to get the correct training to secure a position in a tech firm?
Apprenticeships provide an ideal route for school-leavers who may lack practical know-how.
Even those with good grades may be overlooked in favour of candidates with experience and this is where trainee schemes come into their own.
They usually last between one and four years and provide apprentices with real-life experience of working in an IT environment.
If an apprentice decides to leave when their apprenticeship is finished, they will have specific experience to show prospective employees. If they decide to stay, there are often opportunities for promotion as an employer will value staff with in-house experience.
Apprenticeships are often a more appealing option than further education as participants are being paid to train for a nationally-recognised qualification.