Tech London 500 initiative launches to 'match' IT firms with talented students to offer digital apprenticeships

The first 500 companies to join the programme and pledge a vacancy will get their first pick of suitable candidates

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Five hundred IT firms in London are being offered the opportunity to pledge a job vacancy and have first pick of fresh digital talent straight from school and college.

From today, the Tech London 500 initiative is allowing small and medium companies interested in the scheme to get in touch and speak with both digital hopefuls and training providers.

It aims to help businesses who are “daunted” by the idea of taking on an apprentice by offering a free ‘match service’ with talented individuals.

The first 500 eligible businesses to get in touch with the team will be able to apply for the free ‘matching service’ to recruit suitable candidates, aged 16 and over, from a pre-screened talent pool of 500 into apprenticeship positions within IT and digital marketing.

The programme hopes to bolster young people’s chances within the fields of tech support, website development, mobile design, and video and social media – and says firms will be partnered with suitable candidates within two to six weeks.

Support will also be made available for both the apprentice and the employer before, during, and after the apprenticeship – and employers will even get free training if they want.

Tim Campbell – who won the first series of BBC’s The Apprentice in 2005 – has hosted a free webinar for employers considering taking on an IT or digital apprentice.

Speaking with Metro, he said he was proud to be associated with the initiative and said it was essential to have because businesses have asked him repeatedly how and where they can find the right digital talent to meet their IT needs.

“I know from my own experience of visiting London schools and colleges just how much tech and creative talent is out there waiting to be given this opportunity,” he added.

Once the initiative has seen all 500 students be matched with the city’s firms, Mayor Boris Johnson will invite all to a complimentary speed networking event at City Hall in September.