Minding the IT skills gap


A pioneering apprenticeship programme, designed by IT businesses across Cornwall, in conjunction with the Cornwall College Group, has recruited its first apprentice.

UKNetWeb director, Toby Parkins (l), with new apprentice Brad Sutherland
UKNetWeb director, Toby Parkins (l), with new apprentice Brad Sutherland

Eighteen-year old Brad Sutherland has moved from Northumberland where he studied IT to become the first apprentice at St Agnes-based, UKNetWeb.

Designed completely in partnership with business, the programme is designed to develop talented young people to meet the skills gap in programming and IT.

UKNetWeb director, Toby Parkins, said:  “I think the whole idea of an apprenticeship is something that we have never considered before, but when Bradley approached me I thought this is a fantastic opportunity, especially because this is a new programme that has been developed by industry, business and Cornwall College.

“Trying to attract and recruit people with the right skills is particularly difficult, especially in IT, where some of the content and knowledge is moving at such a pace that you can’t necessarily expect someone on a course which started three years ago to be completely up to date.

“That’s why the apprenticeship approach will help us to train a far more equipped and capable person.”