A new partnership between the National Skills Academy for IT, training provider NITP and telecoms giant BT will create 550 IT apprenticeships in 2013.
Some 100 apprentice jobs in small to medium-sized enterprises are already up for grabs, with a further 450 apprenticeships planned.
The partnership received co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills via the Growth and Innovation Fund.
The 100 new apprentices will be trained by NITP at further education colleges in Liverpool, Tamworth, Oxford, Nottingham and St Albans. The new recruits will be piloting the ‘IT Gold Standard Apprenticeship' - a programme that is designed to help apprentices settle into the workplace and gain the necessary technical and communication skills more quickly.
This in turn will help the young people to strive towards specific in-demand job roles while trialling a personal development plan. They will also receive support via a ‘virtual campus' website and employer-backed events.
Meanwhile, the 450 new apprenticeship courses will be spread across the five colleges mentioned above as well as others in Bedford, Portsmouth, Walsall, Birmingham and Milton Keynes.
Karen Price, the CEO of sector skills body e-skills UK, said: "We are delighted that, through this new partnership with BT and NITP, 100 new jobs have been created for young people in IT roles that are in high demand among employers. Making the recruitment of apprentices by smaller organisations an easier and more attractive option is helping them develop the skilled workforce needed to drive their businesses forward".