In his latest exclusive column for Futurescot, Ross Tuffee, chair of Skills Development Scotland’s Digital Economy Skills Group, highlights the importance of apprenticeships to both the technology industry and technology jobs in other sectors.

As we head into Scottish Apprenticeship Week in March, I want to use my column today to remind tech companies about the importance of work-based learning, and the fact there are a range of apprenticeships available dedicated to digital skills development.

Apprenticeships can not only help you adapt and strengthen your business – offering resilience that has never been more important than it is now – but they also play an essential part in plugging the technology skills gap. In addition, they support individuals in realising their full potential, and in turn that will help your company reach its full potential as well.

And when companies like yours prosper, all whilst nurturing new or even enhancing existing talent, this helps build a better and stronger Scottish economy which ultimately benefits us all.

With increasing employment costs in the tech sector, we are seeing great growth in the take up of Modern Apprenticeships, and momentum is also building in both Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships. Many employers are seeing the advantages of taking on an apprentice to help build their business, and grow their talent pipeline.

And apprenticeships are not just for new starts. Work-based learning can also be used for upskilling reskilling existing staff. So if jobs are changing, then a tech apprenticeship can allow you to upskill/reskill someone from one role to another, meaning you can maintain the wider knowledge that person has of your business.

There are apprenticeship frameworks – designed specifically for the tech sector and digital jobs more generally – for data analysts, cyber security specialists, software developers, creative media types, digital marketing and IT.

I guarantee there will be an apprentice out there that is absolutely right for your business.

Edinburgh-based software development company Forrit has been a long time supporter of apprenticeships, and founder Peter Proud recently issued a timely call to the sector to step up and invest in our young people to benefit the industry as a whole.

Peter also proudly states, and justifiably so, that taking on apprentices is the best thing he has ever done. I guarantee if you follow his approach, you will feel the same!

Apprentices bring a breath of fresh air and fresh thinking, enhance productivity and aid staff retention, all while future-proofing your business. So what are you waiting for? Get involved. You won’t regret it.

Visit, Digital World or get in touch with Skills Development Scotland to find out more.