A new £17 million apprenticeship hub is to be built in the West Midlands amid growing demand for digital skills in the region.
Staffordshire University plans to start work on the project at its Stoke-on-Trent campus after securing support from organisations and companies including Microsoft. It plans to deliver more than 6,500 new apprenticeships over the next decade to equip people with the digital skills 21st century employers are looking for.
Employers across the UK will also be able to access the hub, set to open in 2020, to get support and advice on apprenticeships.
Microsoft will offer insight into cutting-edge technology and how to use it, to ensure all students have a high level of digital literacy. The company has launched its own digital skills programme in the UK, which runs until 2020. It aims to ensure the country remains one of the global leaders in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other next-generation technologies.
Chris Perkins, Microsoft’s public sector lead and executive sponsor for Skills, said: “We believe it is important that the UK continues to provide varied routes into digital careers. Through our Microsoft Digital Skills Programme, we’re committed to helping everyone in the UK take a step up in their digital skills and prepare for the jobs of the future.
“Our collaboration with Staffordshire University is part of this ongoing commitment and our pledge to create 30,000 new digital apprenticeship opportunities through our apprenticeship training partners by 2020.”