1. Find the right training provider
2. Ensure that employees selected for the Data Academy have strong quantitative backgrounds and either existing coding skills or the aptitude to learn to code
3. Allow apprentices to use 20% of their work time for off-the-job training
4. Make sure that managers support learners in their training
5. Agree a timeframe for the Data Academy
6. Work with your training provider to agree curriculum and assignments that are relevant to your organisation
What is the apprenticeship levy?
The UK government’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme came into effect in April 2017 as a way to drive investment in strengthening the country’s skills base. All organisations with staff costs of over £3m have to pay 0.5% of their salary bill into a ring-fenced apprenticeship levy pot. The money is collected monthly via PAYE, but can be clawed back within 24 months and used for training on approved apprenticeship schemes.
Companies are in a scramble to use this money — their own — before it expires and flows into the government’s coffers. The process has been off to a slow start, as organisations plan their apprenticeship strategy, understand how the process works, and find apprenticeship providers. The good news is that there are now a large number of apprenticeships standards on offer — over 300 to date — and the definition of an apprentice has broadened to include more experienced staff learning new skills.
What job roles are appropriate for the Data Analyst apprenticeship?
Data Analysts, Data Scientists and Data Engineers.
Who can be a Data Analyst apprentice?
Any new or current employees who meets the criteria of apprenticeship standard. They can be of any age or background, and can already have other qualifications, including undergraduate or postgraduate degrees. They must not already have had training in Data Science and analytics.
Apprentices must be employed by their sponsoring organisation.
Cambridge Spark’s Data Analyst apprenticeship is best suited to people with strong quantitative backgrounds and some coding experience or aptitude.
Are there any constraints?
Yes, geography is one constraint. Although the apprenticeship levy is a UK government initiative, the levy funding is managed by each of the devolved nations. If your organisation is based in England, then only employees based in England will quality for levy funding; any employees based in Scotland would not be eligible, for example.
Does this lead to a qualification?
Apprentices gain the EMC Data Science Associate qualification.
How are apprentices assessed?
Candidates are assessed at the end of the programme by an external end-point-assessment (EPA) organisation to validate their learning. They are assessed through an exam, a summative project, an ongoing project portfolio, and an interview.
Are there any costs to the organisation?
The training is all funded through the apprenticeship levy, which includes the training, access to materials and end-point assessment.
How can I find and compare Data Analyst Apprenticeship training providers?
Registered apprenticeship training providers appear on the Register of Approved Training Providers (RoATP). Check the scope of their offering, and the background of the trainers to assess quality.