The Dynamo North East IT Apprentice Hub, a UK first, has already successfully filled 90 IT vacancies after being pioneered in the North East by national training provider Baltic Training Services in partnership with the IT employer network Dynamo North East over the last 18 months – it has now officially launched in Newcastle to help address the technology skills gap across the region.

Paul Lancaster founder of Plan Digital UK a community engagement, marketing and innovation consultancy, said: “This region has endured significant problems over the years but its people are really good at getting stuck in.

“As a region according to an authoritative study on the nation’s digital economy, the Tech Nation Report, it punches well above its weight and is described as a great place to try new things. The Dynamo North East IT Hub is the latest example of this.

“Now we just need to get the message out there that the North East offers fantastic opportunity and support to both technology employees and employers growing and innovating in the region.

“I’ve been planning Newcastle Start Up week for months and I want anyone with the ambition to launch a technology start up to set aside five days from 15 to 19 May on 2017 and benefit from the free support on offer right here in Newcastle. I’ve spent 10 years successfully connecting businesses to the support networks that exist here in the North East and I’m going to put those connections to good use.

“It’s not just about inspiring local people and employers but also about attracting people and businesses to the area, as well as connecting people, businesses and investors already here.”

Louise Ball executive director of Baltic Training Services the company that is delivering the Dynamo North East IT Hub said: “As an organisation we have played a key part in finding and training the right people for over 6,000 IT vacancies and I fully expect the Dynamo North East IT Apprentice Hub to continue to help us to address the technology skills gap right here in the North East.”

Other speakers at the event included Lindsay Phillips senior executive at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Bob Paton CBE vice-chair of Dynamo North East and Kerry Willumsen executive director for Europe at Sagegroup PLC.

Lindsay Phillips said: “As well as attracting the best people from a limited pool there needs to be a longer term strategy whereby the organisation can help to grow its own through an apprenticeship and graduate scheme approach. As part of this the Dynamo North East IT Hub can be effective in providing an excellent feeder system.

“If you are a growing dynamic business you need to do more than just fixing a short term supply problem it’s an ongoing issue which must be addressed with using a more sustainable employment strategy going forward.”

Kerry Willumsen said: “I first heard about the Dynamo North East IT Apprentice Hub 18 months ago and what impressed me was the fact that this was an active solution to an ongoing recruitment problem in a market with a skills shortage. It wasn’t just an idea, it was a total solution and we could immediately understand the benefit.

“What we are finding is that the apprentices that have been through the IT Hub’s nine week training are generally more able to hit the ground running and have fewer work place adjustment issues.”

Bob Paton CBE and a key figure in the creation of the Dynamo North East IT Apprentice Hub, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the IT hub as a pilot scheme has already brought 90 young people into paid employment in the technology sector in the North East. We believe the support offered to employers is unique and that all that remains is to effectively communicate this to the region’s burgeoning technology sector.

“The Dynamo IT Hub supports businesses large or small through each major step of setting up and running an apprenticeship program, from advertising and recruitment to training and assessment, and putting in place a framework to make it easier for IT businesses to take on apprentices.”

Fact Box – About the Hub

  • The hub involves an intensive IT skills training course with technical content aimed at preparing young adults for their first role in the IT sector, including a level two Diploma qualification in IT, interview practice and CV writing guidance.
  • Those who successfully complete the course are then given the opportunity to progress to a paid full time 12 month Level 3 apprenticeship with an IT employer.
  • The hub even offers some vocational Microsoft qualifications as part of the programme with elements that include security, networking, programming, digital marketing plus soft skills including instilling the values of good planning, personal responsibility, attitude, and communication skills.