Cloud hosting firm UKFast is further cementing its commitment to bridging Manchester’s technical skills gap by opening up its apprenticeship training programme to other businesses.
The fast-growing hosting provider is set to open up its industry-accredited training facilities to the wider business community, after being approved by the government to join the register of apprenticeship training providers.
UKFast’s apprenticeship programme is led by a team of former school teachers, who are fully qualified and accredited to deliver the apprenticeship programme on site, end to end. UKFast is equipped to deliver Level 2, 3 and 4 apprenticeships across a range of subjects. These courses are now available to businesses that want to take on and train apprentices but don’t have the educational facilities expertise to deliver on site.
UKFast’s director of training and education Aaron Saxton said: “The accreditation demonstrates our capacity, quality and expertise to deliver high-calibre apprenticeship programmes, not just to our own team but to other employers right across the region.
“We’ve built a bespoke curriculum in line with the digital industry and bleeding-edge business,with all the right academic tools to challenge and really develop these young people to be the leading digital engineers in the UK.
“We ensure each candidate goes back to their business with the skills they need to be successful and help their business to grow.”
More than 15% of UKFast’s workforce is made up of former or current apprentices, just four years after the firm launched its apprenticeship scheme. The resounding success of the scheme has driven the decision to apply to the government to offer the same facilities to external apprentices.
UKFast CEO, Lawrence Jones MBE said: “We see our apprentices developing at an amazing rate and they’re truly invaluable to our workforce. We've created a dedicated learning environment and invested huge amounts of time, money and energy into these young people. They deserve the very best start in life and that’s exactly what we give them.
“It makes perfect sense to roll this out as a service to other businesses who want to gain the amazing benefits of having apprentices within their business. Gone are the days of apprentices making the tea round and sorting the mail and we’re proud to play our part in changing the perceptions of apprenticeships.”
The recently introduced Apprenticeship Levy means businesses are subject to a tax of 0.5% on annual wage bills in excess of £3m. Businesses are able to offset this money by taking on apprentices.