Amid the hand-wringing about whether the UK’s education system is equipping young Britons with skills in software and other areas, tech companies are stepping into the breach.

As Andy Bounds writes, mid-sized tech businesses are unusually active in hiring and training apprentices — even after a new government levy prompted other companies to scale back their activity on that front.

Among them is data hosting business UKFast, which spends more than £1m of its roughly £40m turnover on apprentices and school partnerships. It pays off in reduced recruitment costs, says chief executive Lawrence Jones (pictured above), because of the additional loyalty from employees who enter through these training schemes.

Another example is Sheffield-based data technology group WANdisco, whose chief executive says that school leavers often learn computing skills more quickly than graduates.

These tech companies strike a sharp contrast with the broader trend across all industries: in the six months to February, new apprenticeships were down 25 per cent year on year.

Read the full story here

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