UK building society Nationwide has started taking applications for its first apprenticeships in partnership with Swindon’s new Institute of Technology (IoT).
The apprentice roles are in a range of tech-related areas including cyber security, software development and DevOps.
Through the scheme, Nationwide aims to bring new career opportunities to the region and plans to educate 1,000 people within the first five years.
Patrick Eltridge, Nationwide’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’re especially proud to bring this project to our hometown in Swindon. This is a significant investment for Nationwide, and we’re confident that it will be a positive move towards helping close the digital skills gap and provide more employment opportunities for people who perhaps have never had the opportunity to consider a career in technology before.”
The announcement comes after 4.3 million people in the UK were estimated to have zero basic digital skills in 2018. Nationwide has argued that access to employer-led education is a way to address this issue. The society said it will “encourage more people to improve their digital skillset and consider a career in technology”.
Swindon’s new IoT
The IoT was developed in partnership with local employers to deliver industry-based STEM learning to its students. It will offer a mixture of remote and face-to-face learning to students.
Eltridge continued: “These apprenticeships show what can be achieved when local businesses, government and education institutions come together to reimagine STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in this country. It was why Nationwide, alongside other local organisations, worked so hard to bring the IoT to Swindon in the first place.
“It is the latest step in our early careers technology strategy – which has already seen us partner with the likes of Code Club, Tech She Can and the National Centre for Computing Education to improve the quality and availability of STEM education for young people across England. I cannot wait to welcome our first cohort of apprentices to the Society.”