Digital Apprenticeships Launch to Bridge U.K. Tech Skills Gap

June 19, 2023
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edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), today announced an initiative with EdAid, the U.K.-based educational organization recently-appointed as a Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Agency, and Northwest Education and Training LTD (NWEAT), EdAid’s newly-acquired apprenticeship training provider, to offer digital apprenticeships in high-demand tech fields. The program, which draws from the Department of Education’s (DfE) apprenticeship levy, combines NWEAT’s training expertise with edX’s online learning platform to help adults across the U.K. gain the skills and experience needed to pursue a career in tech.

The program, delivered by NWEAT, via the edX platform, launches with an initial cohort of digital apprenticeships in software development beginning in August 2023. Additional apprenticeships in other key tech fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and data analytics are in development for future starts. The 12 to 18-month-long apprenticeships will be funded by the DfE’s apprenticeship levy and will be made available at no cost to learners in partnership with companies across the U.K. Learners will dedicate 20% of their normal working hours to studying for the apprenticeship, with access to immersive training and ongoing assessment delivered by NWEAT alongside on-the-job training.

“We’re thrilled to be working alongside edX and NWEAT supporting a new series of digital apprenticeships that will unlock flexible, alternative apprenticeship pathways into the jobs of the future,” said Tom Woolf, Founder and CEO of EdAid. “By providing learners with access to high-quality, industry-relevant education, we’re confident that it will help to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce that will deliver exceptional economic value to employers and the wider economy.”

These new offerings will help meet a critical demand for tech-focused apprenticeships in the U.K. at a time when the country faces a significant shortage of digital and technical skilled workers, with an estimated 600,000 vacancies per year.  Via the new apprenticeships, U.K. employers can draw from existing levy funds to create greater opportunities for business leaders to foster tech talent internally, reducing costly employee turnover and creating new opportunities to train and reduce their current workforce.

“At NWEAT, we are committed to providing learners with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the digital economy,” said Angela Owens, Managing Director of NWEAT. “Our exceptional track record as a training provider, combined with the technical expertise of edX and EdAid, will help to create a new generation of highly skilled and talented professionals who can make a real difference in the technology industry.”

This new collaboration further underscores edX’s commitment to closing the skills gap in the U.K., where edX already has a separate initiative with the DfE, which includes the Department’s pledging up to £4.8M to fund 1,200 seats for a fully-online Skills Bootcamp in front-end web development. The boot camp is part of the DfE’s Skills for Life initiative, focused on investing in lifelong learning and skills training.

“edX is one of the world’s largest developers of tech talent, and by coming together with NWEAT and EdAid, even more learners will get access to the dynamic, immersive tech skills training needed to succeed in the digital economy,” said Anant Agarwal, edX Founder and Chief Platform Officer at 2U.  “This new initiative aims to create a new generation of professionals who are equipped to tackle the challenges of the 21st century and make a real impact on businesses across the U.K.”

All programme content and material will be developed, designed and delivered by NWEAT, on edX. For more information on the digital apprenticeships, including Education and Skills Funding Agency eligibility criteria and to apply for the program, visit edaid.com/NWEAT.

About EdAid

EdAid is on a mission to make access to quality education affordable. Through our global platform we are pioneering deferred payment plans. Founded in the U.K., EdAid is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, U.A.E. and U.K. Our team believes that access to education must be universal and its financing fairer and affordable. We work with world-class education institutions to support social mobility through interest-free, flexible payment options, administered by caring and professional student support teams.

About Northwest Education & Training (NWEAT)

Northwest Education and Training, or NWEAT, was established in 2013. NWEAT prides itself on delivering training through an experienced and passionate team of individual assessors who’s overriding aim is– Success for all. NWEAT strives to provide the highest quality of training to learners to meet the needs of employers, resulting in suitable employment for the learner and trained employees for the employer, all achieved through efficient and commercially beneficial service. Learn more here.

About edX

edX is the global online learning platform that exists to help learners everywhere unlock their potential. edX was founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012 to make the world’s best education available to everyone. Today, as a 2U, Inc. company (Nasdaq: TWOU), edX connects 76 million people worldwide with the skills, knowledge, and support to achieve their goals. Together with the world’s leading universities and companies, edX offers thousands of free and open courses, professional certificates, boot camps, credit-bearing micro credentials, and undergraduate and graduate degrees. Discover purpose-built online programs in technology, business, healthcare, science, education, social work, sustainability, and more at edX.org.

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