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David Allen IT Solutions and Carlisle College join forces to combat digital skills crisis

David Allen IT Solutions has joined forces with Carlisle College to launch a new apprenticeship offer in IT.   This comes as the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee issued a report last month calling on urgent action to deal with the so called digital skills crisis in the UK.

The report found that the UK needs another 745,000 workers with digital skills by 2017 and that the skills gap could cost the UK economy around £63bn a year in lost income. The new IT, Software, Web and Telecoms apprenticeship with Carlisle College provides a response to this, providing a route for those looking to develop their career in the fast paced world of IT.

Apprentices will attend Carlisle College one day a week to access their specialist IT labs and receive expert tuition from their highly qualified and industry experienced tutors.   Meanwhile they will work as an apprentice in IT with a leading local employer for the remainder of the week, where they will have access to advice from specialists at David Allen IT Solutions.

This new apprenticeship route is designed for network technicians , IT support , software, programming and associated specialisms. Meanwhile Carlisle College will continue to support desk based IT skills via their established Business Administration apprenticeship programme.

Apprenticeships provide an attractive route to career development, enabling students to gain professional skills and qualifications whilst at the same time building experience in a job and earning a salary.

With experienced IT technicians expecting to earn over £30,000 and with many opportunities for consultancy roles and self-employment, combined with the demand for digital skills, a career in the IT sector is proving to be an appealing option for students.

The new apprenticeship scheme will be offered at both advanced and higher levels with students either working towards a Diploma in IT or a foundation degree in Computing approved by UCLAN, providing a real alternative to the traditional A Level or university route.

Sam Ogle, IT Tutor at Carlisle College, said; “As I started out as an IT Apprentice myself I can really recommend it as a route to a professional career. Having worked in IT for Innovia Films and since gaining my degree in computing I am eager to pass on my knowledge and experiences to the first cohort of IT Apprentices  at Carlisle College”.

David Allen IT Solutions specialise in IT Support and maintenance, IT project consultancy and operate their own purpose built secure data centre.

Gary Martin, Director, at David Allen IT Solutions, said; “David Allen IT Solutions specialise in providing professional technical support to local businesses. Developing people is key to our success, and joining forces with Carlisle College to deliver IT apprenticeships allows us to take an even greater part in developing the next generation of IT professionals across the County, encouraging those professionals to then stay in our beautiful county to bridge the skills gap.  IT is a fantastic, innovative industry to work in, an industry I have been personally involved with for almost 25 years.  I have seen so many changes in technologies over this time, and keeping abreast of the latest technology, and developing and training our staff helps us to be always be one step ahead.  It’s great to see Carlisle College embracing the Governments agenda to plug the digital skills gap, and we are looking forward to supporting the students on the programme to realise their full potential.”

Carlisle College currently works with over 300 employers and 450 apprentices, making it the largest provider of apprenticeship training in the Carlisle area. This figure continues to rise, with the number of apprentices at Carlisle College growing by over 25% in the last year. This is in line with national trends, with Government objectives to reach 3 million apprenticeships in England by 2020.

With the latest government report on digital skills calling for businesses to invest in more and better training at all levels of education, it is hoped that the growth in apprenticeships will be felt in the IT sector.

Colin Luhrs, Assistant Director at Carlisle College, said; “We are delighted to expand our apprenticeship offer to include IT, providing a local response to a widespread need for digital skills amongst employers. The partnership with David Allen IT Solutions is sure to provide a winning formula for our Apprentices, combing the best of classroom theory with industry insight. The scheme should also prove useful for organisations that have previously looked at recruiting an IT Apprentice, but have been restricted in the technical support that they have been able to provide within their business – we have David Allen IT Solutions to fulfil this role”.

Any business interested in recruiting an IT apprentice should contact the David Allen IT team on 01228 711888 or e-mail

Posted: July 12th, 2016

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