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Cisco doubles apprenticeship scheme intake, providing more career opportunities for young people

28 July 2020

Categories: Digital and Technology

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Digital and Technology

Cisco has today announced that it is doubling its intake and investment into its long-running Apprenticeship Programme. This comes amid warnings that young people could be the worst affected by the unemployment crisis, which has been prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cisco’s Apprenticeship Scheme, which launched in 2011, has grown tenfold to reach 60 new apprentices this August. Alongside this, and as part of Cisco’s commitment to power an inclusive future, this year’s intake is 47% female and 42% from minority ethnic groups. While some apprentices will be based in London, others will be located in Manchester, as the programme seeks to expand and offer opportunities across the UK.

Due to the pandemic, the latest programme will launch and operate virtually with apprentices collaborating, learning and working via Cisco Webex. To celebrate this new tranche of apprentices, MP Gillian Keegan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeship and Skills, joined a launch event to inspire and welcome them. Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, joined a separate session with Manchester based apprentices to talk about the growing importance of digital skills in the region.
Looking ahead, Cisco plans to grow its apprenticeship programme through its UKI channel partner ecosystem, which will enable channel partners to develop their own talent through the Cisco apprenticeship scheme. It will also work with diversity groups across the UK and draw from its own female-focused work experience programmes.
David Meads, Cisco CEO UKI said:

"Removing inequities and creating new pathways to power an inclusive future is more vital than it has ever been. As we strive to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s critical that we don’t lose a generation of young people but rather provide them with the digital skills and opportunities to help re-build a prosperous and thriving environment for everyone,”

“Through a comprehensive work-based training programme, our apprentices are equipped with what they need to become future industry leaders. At Cisco, we are proud of the role apprentices play within our business and we gain huge value from their new thinking, cultural diversity and fresh energy.”

With a focus on developing future leaders, the three-year programme is designed so that participants can go on a journey around the organisation, to discover their personal strengths and business interests. This flexible approach, that enables apprentices to focus on their interests, has led to 90% of apprentices who have joined the programme over the last nine years staying with Cisco. 
According to Gov.uk data, between the start of lockdown in March and May, the number of people aged 24 and under claiming Universal Credit rose by 250,000 to almost 500,000 - highlighting the importance of investing in young people.

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