EDS and Thames Valley University (TVU) have started an initiative aimed at giving staff working towards National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) a chance to also earn a related college degree.
The 'Degrees for Modern Apprentices' programme allows staff -- typically recruited while in the 16 to 21 age bracket -- to build on top of foundation training and NVQ qualifications. Obtaining a BSc (Hons) in Information Systems will then take two-and-a-half to three years, though a combination of face-to-face tutorials and book-based study, online work groups and other electronic support.
IT companies and higher education establishments are looking at various ways to help provide the skills organisations need. Andrew Ward, director of corporate affairs at TVU, in a statement said the programme will "make an important contribution to developing the professional skills and knowledge within the company, as well as providing a model of how industry and universities can work together successfully."
EDS Modern Apprentices train in one of three strands: Developing IT, Installing and Supporting IT and Operating IT. Twenty EDS candidates from around the UK have been selected for the TVU pilot course, which begins this month.