Innovation and changeGovernment TechnologyCivil servants hone skills through Software Developer Accelerated Apprenticeship

Civil servants hone skills through Software Developer Accelerated Apprenticeship

22 civil servants are getting technically up-skilled and will get aligned with the needs of their departments through a pilot programme

A specially-developed Software Developer Accelerated Apprenticeship has provided 22 civil servants with in-demand and emerging IT skills.

The condensed fast forward programme has been initiated by Digital, Data and Technology Profession, in partnership with Makers.

The shortlisted apprentices belonged to six government departments including:

  • Cabinet Office
  • Department for Education
  • Department for Environment
  • Food and Rural Affairs
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Home Office and Ministry of Justice

The focus of this pilot programme is retraining civil servants by providing them with technical knowledge. Compared to the other civil service digital apprenticeship programmes, this programme is  unique. The trained personnel will get aligned with the needs of their departments.

Kevin Cunnington, Head of the Digital, Data and Technology Profession and Director General of the Government Digital Service (GDS), said, “Investing in developing our people is very important and we knew there were civil servants who had the potential and aptitude to become software developers but not the opportunity to pursue this.

“We wanted to offer them a chance to reach their full potential and enhance their skills whilst continuing to work for their department, enabling us to bring new talent into the profession.”

Software Developer Accelerated Apprenticeship

182 applicants went through a stern selection process and 22 of them were made to the programme. Further, the shortlisted batch of 22 apprentices graduated from the training on 1 February 2019. At present are working on placement in their departments.

The apprentices will have to go through an assessment by the British Computer Society. On desirable completion of the assessment, the apprentices will be rewarded with the Level 4 Software Developer Apprenticeship. They will be certified as Junior Software Developers.

The training period for the formal degree of Junior Software Developer traditional is between 18 and 24 months and is fast-tracked to 12 months for these shortlisted apprentices.

The programme has a distinct delivery model. The apprenticeship begins with a 4-week induction and leads to a 12 weeks training for learning basic programming skills and languages. At the end of this intensive training, apprentices return to departments to work with teams supporting live projects for the remaining months.

One of the apprentices describes the worthiness of the apprenticeship as one of the best decisions he ever made. There have been officers from diverse experiences within civil services who are part of this apprenticeship.

Some of the highlights about the technical learning from the apprentices are coding, agile development, building websites and apps, programming, web concepts and databases. There were non-technical skills like problem-solving, solution creation, maturity, self-drive and collaboration that the apprentices got better at.

This initiative by the GDS is in line with a Gartner study that predicts that over half of government IT workers will work on new roles in the next four years.

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