Data & Research

Digital Businesses Turning To Apprenticeships

Digital Businesses Turning To Apprenticeships

Digital businesses in the North are taking on more apprentices than ever in an effort to narrow the widening skills gap, according to Manchester Digital’s annual digital skills audit.

Although not strictly VR news, it’s still an interesting report covering related sectors. 14% of members work in software development, while 47% of respondents said their main function was in development; 32% replied that this is the role they have most difficulty filling, with salaries increasing to reflect the demand. Of the 250 digital and technology businesses audited, over half had taken on an apprentice in the last year, with the majority (80%) meeting employer expectations.


Average Developer Salaries:

  • Junior Developer: £22,857 (£15k to £40k) - up £2k year-on-year
  • Mid Developer: £31,078 (£20k to £55k) - up £3k year-on-year
  • Senior Developer: £43,673 (£25k to £70k) - up £4k year-on-year


Pay The Levy

When asked about the impending apprenticeship levy, four in five digital employers said they believed it would be a good thing for their business. Businesses in the region are also increasingly recruiting graduates from local universities with 55% declaring they had done so in the last year, up 11% from the 12 months previous. Additionally, one in four digital business said they actively run their own graduate scheme.


Skills In Demand

The audit, released ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, also looked at which skills were most in demand from the region’s digital businesses - software development, digital marketing, and data / insight analysis came out top while Javascript, PHP and Python were found to be the most used languages.


Investing In The Pipeline

Commenting on the findings of the audit, Katie Gallagher, managing director at Manchester Digital said, “It’s great to see so many businesses in the region investing in their talent pipeline and taking on more apprentices than before.

“In time for National Apprenticeship Week, our audit has shown apprenticeships provide value for the vast majority of employers and we are seeing more parents and potential candidates view tech apprenticeships as a high quality alternative to university.

“If we can continue to build on this momentum, we are investing not only in the future of our region’s young people but the sustainability of the North West’s digital tech industry too.”


The full skills audit results can be found here


Steve is an award-winning editor and copywriter with 20 years’ experience specialising in consumer technology and video games. He was part of a BAFTA nominated developer studio as project manager for the UK’s first fully interactive digital TV channel. In addition to editing, Steve contributes to, and, as well as creating marketing content for a range of SMEs and agencies.


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