by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Queen’s University Belfast and PwC are calling for applications for a fully-funded four-year technology degree apprenticeship aimed at answering the growing demand for technology talent in Northern Ireland. Focused on entry for September 2019, the digital technology degree apprenticeship will give students a degree in computing science or software engineering at the University alongside practical work experience with the professional service firm.

They will also benefit from a salary from day one and have their fees paid by the Department for the Economy.

A total of 20 students are in the first few months of this year’s programme after being chosen from over 200 applicants for the scheme.

Queen’s is one of only three universities in the UK to offer the programme – along with the Universities of Birmingham and Leeds – and have worked closely with PwC to tailor the course content.

The technology degree apprenticeship is designed to act as a key pillar to support the growth of the Northern Ireland economy by helping produce skilled talent in a field where demand is high and predicted to grow in the coming years.

It has the added benefits of encouraging students who may otherwise be put off by the cost to pursue a degree course, while also stemming the brain drain by preventing others from leaving Northern Ireland.

Professor Ian Williams, Dean of Education for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, said:

“This partnership with PwC is answering a very real need for skilled technology talent in a novel and exciting way. At Queen’s we are focused on producing the right type of graduates to meet the needs of the economy and our world-class technology, teaching and facilities allow us to do just that.

“We will continue to work with industry closely to make sure we are always answering their needs and will find creative ways to deliver our programmes.”

Lynne Rainey, Student Recruitment lead at PwC said:

“As the pace of digitalisation increases, and technology is further embedded into the core of the future of work, we are ensuring young people can reach their full potential through these innovative academic and work-based programmes. Belfast has been firmly established as PwC’s recognised global hub for technology and with these fully-funded degree apprenticeships, we are empowering people from all backgrounds to reach their full potential.

“Feedback from our first cohort of apprentices is overwhelmingly positive – they’re embracing all that Queen’s can offer with the freedom of knowing they’ve been fully supported by PwC. That will continue as we move into our state-of-the-art offices in Merchant Square in 2020, which will be one of the city’s most innovative digital spaces.”

Applications are now open for next year’s technology apprenticeship degree here:


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