To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment the Government has been made of the role of Digital and Technology Solutions degree apprenticeships in filling (a) current and (b) future skills gaps in the digital industries.
An estimated additional 1.2 million people with specialist digital skills will be required by the UK economy by 2022. Now, more than ever, high-level skills in computing are essential to supporting a successful economy.
Apprenticeships can help employers in the digital sector address their current and emerging skills needs and build a diverse pipeline of talent for the future.
We have put employers at the heart of our apprenticeship system, empowering them to design the standards that they need. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) supports employers to develop standards and acts as the guarantor of their quality. There are currently 22 standards available in the digital sector with a further 6 in development, ranging from level 3 to level 7.
IfATE conducts statutory route reviews to give employers the confidence that apprenticeship standards remain relevant and continue to deliver value for money for employers and government. The digital route review was the first of these reviews to be carried out. It reported in May 2019 and found that the level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions professional standard would be retained and revised, ensuring that the content was appropriate and up to date. The level 7 standard was introduced in August 2018 and therefore not in scope of the review.
Starts on both apprenticeship standards have grown, with 1,500 starts on the level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions Professional standard in 2018/19 and 180 starts on the level 7 Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist standard.